Heating collector: principle of operation, installation and connection rules
One of the most effective options for the modernization of the heating system, allowing to make it more productive and reliable, is the installation of the collector unit. The device, which replaced the traditional designs of the linear structure, is designed to improve the usability and maintainability of the system.
How the collector for heating functions and what features of installation should be taken into account, let us consider in more detail.
The principle of operation of the distributor
The main purpose of the collector is to distribute evenly the heat fluxes coming from the main line along the contours of the system and return the cooled liquid to the boiler due to the circulation flow.
In this case, the individual branches of the system connected to the collector become independent of each other.
The device is an intermediate distribution node, the key elements of which are two interrelated parts:
- feeding comb- is responsible for the flow of coolant;
- inverse- performs the function of removal of the cooled coolant to the heat generator.
Together they form a collector group. From each comb departs a few conclusions to connect the circuits leading to the heating devices.
Each output device can be equipped with exhaust valves and a shut-off or adjustment valve.
Their presence makes it possible to adjust the pressure inside each circuit and, if necessary, disconnect the branch for repair, for example, to block the flow of coolant.
To improve system performance and get the opportunity to control all heating processes in each roomthe heated house, the body of the comb will also be used as a platform for installation:
- air vent valves;
- drain valves;
- flow meters;
- heat meters.
The principle of the collector system is quite simple. The liquid heated by the heat generator enters the feed comb.
Inside the intermediate assembly, the velocity of the fluid slows down due to the increased internal diameter of the device; it is redistributed between all the taps.
Knowing the coolant flow rate, equal to the power of the heat generator, and the speed of water movement, it is easy to find the required cross-sectional area. Only you must first convert the liters to a convenient unit of mm.3.
Through connecting pipes, the cross section of which is smaller than the diameter of the collector tube, the coolant enters separately laid contours and moves to the radiators or to the floor heating grids.
Due to this distribution, each element is properly heated, supplied with a heat carrier of equal temperature.
Reaching the battery and giving up the heat obtained during heating, the liquid is directed through another pipe in the opposite direction to the distribution unit. There she arrives on the reverse comb, from where she is redirected to the heat generator.
For a country cottage system using a collector is considered to be the most efficient and reliable.
The only thing that can stop a careful owner is the cost. After all, the arrangement of such a system would be more expensive than a conventional tee-type system.
Types of collectors in heating systems
The collector installations applied at design of the closed circulating heating systems, happen three versions.
Depending on the design purpose, the market includes: radiator and solar systems, as well as devices equipped with a hydraulic needle.
Type # 1 - radiator collector heating
Whatever type of heating is not designed in the house, radiators are always present in it. Therefore, collectors that distribute coolant flows directly to the batteries installed in the rooms are the most demanded type.
The collectors used in radiator heating, depending on the architectural and interior features of the room, can be connected in various ways.
According to the connection method, the radiator heating system can be made in any of the options listed below.execution:
- top connection;
- lower connection;
- side installation;
- diagonal guidance.
The most common is still the bottom way to connect. With such a layout, the contours hidden under the surface of the plinth or floor are not so striking.
And calculations confirm that at the lower connection all the advantages of private heating are fully manifested.
A collector for radiators equip each floor of the house. Install it in the center, masking the device in a niche or arranged in a cabinet for him on the wall.
The place for installation should be chosen so that, if possible, branches of equal length are brought to all devices.
If it is impossible to achieve equality of rings connected to the collector, then each outlet is supplied with its own circulation pump.
In fact, all the branches connected to the distribution node represent an independent circuit with its own shut-off valves and, sometimes, automation.
A vivid example of collector heating schemes are water-heated floors.
Pipelines for underfloor heating are assembled from copper pipes or their plastic counterparts, all-in-one fittings are used for connections.
The heating rings are mounted valves, with which regulate the flow of coolant, and if necessary, turn off the "warm floors" from the general heating network.
Such systems are always equipped with a circulating pump. It is placed in the intermediate collector node at the entrance to the pipe in the opposite direction.
The number of nozzles at the distribution hub depends on the number of rooms looped on one comb.
The number of collector groups is determined based on the length of the contours. The calculation is based on the ratio in which 120 meters of pipeline are allocated to one collector group.
Type # 2 - Hydraulic Arrow
In the arrangement of powerful and extensive heating systems that are designed in residential buildings with a large area, use distribution manifolds, equippedthermo-hydraulic distributor or hydraulic needle.
When installing the connecting link, on the one hand, the heating boiler circuit is connected to it, and on the other, radiator heating or “warm floors”.
The presence of a hydraulic distribution arrow allows you to solve several problems at once:
- avoid sudden temperature changes in the pipes, detrimental to the operational life of the system;
- due to mixing and secondary circulation of part of the coolant, to maintain a constant volume of boiler water, as well as save fuel and electricity;
- if necessary, compensate for the deficit in the secondary circuit.
Maintenance of temperature balance is achieved due to the fact that the device allows to separate the hydraulic circuit of the boiler from the secondary circuit.
Optimum operation of a system equipped with a hydraulic needle can be ensured provided that each circuit is equipped with its own circulation pump.
Type # 3 - solar collector installations
Devices of this type are chosen when arranging an autonomous water supply system in non-gasified areas where the level of solar radiation is quite high.
The design of solar installations is slightly different from traditional analogues.In fact, they represent a kind of greenhouses, accumulating solar energy.
The natural circulation of the coolant in them is carried out by convection currents and under the action of fans attached to the absorption plate.
The distributor, which absorbs the sun's rays, is a small flat box covered with a black adsorbing plate. This heat sensing plate accumulates heat.
The accumulated heat is transferred to the coolant, in the role of which air or liquid circulating through the pipes can act.
On sale you can find mobile collector systems that run on solar energy. Their design is designed so that the mirrors and heating elements “follow” the movement of the sun, thanks to which its energy is absorbed to the maximum.
But due to the high cost of equipment, the use of solar installations as the main source of heating in the conditions of climate even in the southern regions of our country is unprofitable.
And because they are more involved as an additional source of heat in the arrangement of heating systems using solid fuel and gas boilers.
Today in the equipment market there are many varieties of collectors for heating systems.
Manufacturers offer both connecting links of the most simple execution, the design of which does not provide for the availability of auxiliary valves for equipment regulation, and collector blocks with a complete set of built-in elements.
Simple devices are brass models with an inch aisle of branches, equipped with two connecting holes on the sides.
On the return manifold, such devices have plugs, instead of which, in the case of a “build-up” of the system, you can always install additional devices.
More complex in a constructive solution intermediate prefabricated units equipped with ball valves.Under each outlet, they provide for the installation of shut-off regulating valves. Heaped expensive models can be equipped with:
- flow meterswhose main purpose is to regulate the flow of coolant in each loop;
- thermal sensorsdesigned to control the temperature of each heater;
- air vent valvesautomatic type to drain water;
- electronic valves and mixersaimed at maintaining the programmed temperature.
The number of circuits depending on the connected consumers can vary from 2 to 10 pieces.
If we take the production material as a basis, then intermediate collectors are:
- Brass- differ in high operational parameters at reasonable price.
- Stainless- steel structures are extremely durable. They can easily withstand high pressure.
- Polypropylene- Models of polymeric materials, although they differ in low price, but in all characteristics are inferior to metal "fellows".
Models made of metal, to extend service life and increase operational parameters are treated with anti-corrosion compounds and covered with thermal insulation.
Parts of the device can be cast versions or are equipped with push-in clips, allowing connection with metal-plastic pipes.
But experts do not advise choosing combs with collet clamps, as they often "sin" by leaking coolant at the junction of the valve. This is due to the rapid failure of the seal. And it is not always possible to replace it.
Recommendations competent choice
The main difficulty lies not only in the installation of the collector itself, but also in the correct choice of equipment.
When choosing a comb model, you should be guided by the following parameters:
- Maximum allowable pressure for this model. It determines the type of material from which the valve can be made.
- Bandwidth node.
- Availability of assistive devices.
- The number of outlet nozzles comb. It should correspond to the number of cooling circuits.
- The possibility of additional joining elements.
All operational parameters are specified in the passport to the product.
To arrange independent heating circuits with independent control, the combs must be mounted on each floor of the house.
When choosing and installing floor distributors, they are guided by the parameters of the “subsystem” that they are designed to serve.
This greatly simplifies the maintenance and repair of the heating system.
Since the collector unit is not a cheap pleasure, in order to protect oneself from disappointment when the system leaves the system quickly, when choosing a model, one should focus on products of proven manufacturers.
It is safe to trust manufacturers such as"GREENoneTEC","Rehau","Soletrol","Oventrop"and"Meibes". In each series of leading European manufacturers, you can pick up a complete set of necessary additional equipment.
Auxiliary elements and fittings to the collector unit must also comply with GOST and TU.
Each of the additional structural elements performs its function:
- automatic air vent- it is mounted if the unit and radiators are located on the same floor;
- adapter- Required when installing an air vent with a diameter of ½ inch, provided that the manifold thread is ¾ inch.
- corner- allows you to connect the pipes and direct the air vent upwards.
- crane- it is necessary for connection to the device of the pipe going from the boiler;
- sgon, equipped with a cape nut - will allow, if necessary, to shut off the flow of coolant and unscrew the cap nut, disconnect the device.
If you intend to connect from the collector water "warm floor", in addition, you will need to install a faucet for make-up.
For fixing the collector to the wall, clamps “planted” on plastic dowels will also be required. When mounting the design it is also permissible to use special brackets.
Such constructions are convenient in that the upper collector in them is pushed forward, so that the pipes of the assembly do not interfere with the supply of the pipeline to the lower collector.
Installation and Connection Rules
It is best to select and install a collector at the stage of design and installation of the heating system.
Such intermediate structures are installed in rooms protected from excessive moisture. Most often, for these purposes, a place in the hallway, pantry or dressing room is assigned.
Commercially available overhead and built-in models of metal cabinets. Each model is equipped with a door and vyshtampovka on the sides.
In the absence of the ability to install a metal locker, it is easier to fix the device directly to the wall.The niche for the arrangement of the collector unit is placed at a small height relative to the floor.
Generally accepted installation instructions collector distribution schemes in fact there. But there are a number of key points regarding which experts came to a common denominator:
- Availability of expansion tank. The volume of a structural element must be at least 10% of the total amount of water in the system.
- Availability of a circulation pump for each circuit. Regarding this element, not all experts are unanimous. But still, if you plan to use several independent circuits, for each of them it is worthwhile to install a separate unit.
The expansion tank is placed in front of the circulation pump on the return flow line. As a result, it becomes less vulnerable to the turbulence of the water flows that often occur in this place.
If a hydraulic needle is used, the tank is mounted in front of the main pump, the main task of which is to ensure circulation on a small circuit.
The location of the circulation pump is not critical.But, as practice shows, the resource of the device is somewhat higher precisely on the "return line".
The main thing at installation - to arrange a shaft strictly horizontally. If this condition is not observed, the first bubble of accumulated air will leave the unit without cooling and lubrication.
The process of assembling and connecting the collector system is clearly represented in the video block.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Video tutorial: collector unit assembly sequence:
Video overview of the installation and operation of the modular plastic manifold:
Distribution node for "warm floor":
Competently chosen and mounted collector wiring ensures the efficiency and reliability of the heating system. Due to the small number of connections and tees, the probability of leakage of such structures is minimized. Well, the ability to adjust the heating temperature of each heating radiator makes the operation of the heating system particularly comfortable.