Collectors for heating: guarantee of efficient operation of the heating system
The most important conditions for ensuring the proper functioning and efficient operation of the heating system are its competent installation and distribution. Today, there are many schemes available that allow you to implement any heating project in accordance with the specifics and layout of the house. The collectors for heating, to which this article is devoted, are able to provide the maximum effective return of the work of the circuits.
What is a collector heating system
The heating collector is represented by a volumetric comb, which consists of a feeding element distributing the coolant heated in the boiler for supply to the radiators, and the reverse part returning the cooled coolant to the heat generator. The last component of the node ensures uniform and smooth heating of each element in the system.
With the help of the comb distribution collector, it is possible to regulate the temperature, pressure and volume of the coolant, which allows you to control the heat supply to each individual room of the house. Due to its integration, various heating devices are connected to the distribution collector in the form of convectors, radiators, underfloor heating systems or panel heating options. The dimensions of the device are determined by the number of contours represented by pipes that are attached to it. The maximum number of elements can reach 12 pcs. In this case, the collector consists of two combs, each of which has 6 contours.
Useful advice! Some manufacturers produce collectors with a large number of combs or a single product that is custom-made.
Each outlet of the device has an outlet valve and an adjustment or shut-off valve. The presence of these elements allows you to adjust the pressure inside each circuit and, if necessary, disconnect the branches for repair.
To increase the system performance and to be able to control all technological processes in each separate room, the comb housing can be used as a platform for installing flow meters, heat meters, spillway or air outlet valves.
The principle of operation of the distribution collector of heating
Let’s consider the principle of operation of a collector distribution node. The heated coolant from the heating generator enters the feed comb. In the intermediate node, the fluid velocity decreases, which is due to the increased internal diameter of the device. Thus, the coolant is distributed evenly in the system.
Important! The internal diameter of the distribution unit is determined by the calculation method, providing a coolant velocity in the system of no more than 0.7 m/s.
Further, the liquid moves through the connecting pipes with a smaller cross-section into separately located contours and is diverted to the radiators or to the underfloor heating grids. This distribution contributes to the heating of each element, where a coolant of the same temperature enters.
Having reached the radiator, the heat carrier gives off the heat received from the heating generator. Next, the liquid is directed in the opposite direction along another circuit to the distribution unit. There, the coolant is diverted to the reverse comb, from which it is directed to the heat generator.
Installing a heating collector is the most efficient and reliable option for a frequent home. However, the arrangement of this node will be more expensive than the installation of a traditional tee system.
Advantages and disadvantages of a distribution manifold for a heating system
The collector version of the heating system has its positive and negative sides. Such a comb is capable of providing uniform heat distribution and maintaining the required temperature of the coolant in all heating devices. At the same time, it is possible to organize a decrease in temperature if necessary.
By adjusting the heating collector, you can not only control the temperature, but also completely cut off any branch, which allows you to prevent idle heat output. This is especially convenient for a large house where some rooms are not used for living. The system is adjusted from the cabinet for the heating collector.
The distribution collector unit is characterized by ease of installation and repair. If one of the system parts breaks down, it will be enough to cut off the damaged branch by means of a regulating device. The heating comb has an attractive appearance, which allows you to place the device in any convenient place.
The disadvantages of the hydraulic collector include the high cost of construction, which is associated with the high cost of the material from which the product is made. High-quality fittings are also quite expensive. However, the cost of installation work is minimized, which is due to the simplicity of the design.
The heating system will work fully and efficiently only complete with a circulation pump, the operation of which will entail additional energy costs.
The comb device assumes a large number of branches for each heating device, for which a separate pipe is installed. This increases the complexity of installation and the total cost of the entire system.
Collectors for heating: types of devices
There is no standard configuration of the heating manifold. The device can be made in any modification, which allows you to adapt to a variety of heating systems with a different type of device and the number of circuits. The comb has from 2 to 12 contours, the price of the heating collector depends on this indicator. During operation, the number of branches involved may vary.
According to the technical characteristics, the distribution units of heating can be divided into the following types of collectors: solar, with a hydrofoil and radiator. According to the number of elements of the system, simple and advanced models are distinguished. The first option is not equipped with additional devices to control the operation of the device and to adjust it. It is represented by a simple comb with several branches, each of which can be disabled. In such a system, it is not supposed to control the temperature and volume of the coolant.
The improved products are equipped with pressure regulators, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, water supply control units, thermostats for automatic pressure adjustment, electronic mixers and valves for regulating the supply of cold and hot water, air vents for releasing air bubbles from pipes.
Important! The configuration of the collector unit may vary depending on certain system requirements, which affects the functionality and cost of installation.
Flat or vacuum solar collectors for home heating
Solar collectors differ from traditional heating installations by their design. They consist of panels designed to convert solar energy into thermal energy. The absorber of a flat product is represented by an aluminum plate in which a copper coil is located. There is a natural circulation of the coolant through it, which assumes the displacement of the warm flow upwards and its direction to the heating devices.
It is advisable to use such systems in the southern regions. The devices are used to obtain hot water, which can be used for centralized hot water supply or as a coolant for heating systems.
The vacuum collector for heating consists of light-absorbing flasks in which the tubes where the coolant moves are located. Such a system is characterized by high efficiency. It can be installed even in regions with a low level of solar activity.
Solar collectors are placed on the roof of the house, where the maximum level of solar radiation is concentrated. Such systems do not take up much space and do not interfere with anyone.
The circulation of the coolant can be carried out in a natural or forced way. In the first case, the heated water expands and rises, and the cooled flow is forced into the heating tank. Forced circulation presupposes the presence of a pump. Using faucets, you can change the movement of water in the system.
Solar collectors provide hot water to the house in the summer. In the spring and autumn period, such a system can be used as an alternative option for heating, which allows you to save gas or electricity consumption, thereby reducing the cost of paying for spent resources.
Radiator distribution manifold for water
The collector for radiator heating is the most in demand, since batteries are installed in almost every house. The distribution unit is represented by two interconnected combs, where the first one supplies the coolant to the heating devices, and the second one diverts the liquid back to the heater.
Such collectors can have a diagonal, upper or lower connection. The latter option is the most common, since the entire wiring is hidden under the surface of the floor or skirting board, which does not catch the eye.
The radiator heating collector is installed on each floor of the house in a place that will ensure an equal length of the supply branches to each heating device. The node can be arranged in a niche or mounted in a special cabinet on the wall. The number of branches depends on the number of rooms that are looped on one comb. The number of collector groups should be guided by the length of the contours. 120 m of pipeline is allocated to one node.
Important! If it is impossible to achieve equality of the connected rings to the collector, each branch must be completed with a circulation pump.
All branches connected to the node are independent circuits equipped with their own shut-off valves and automation. Shut-off and control valves are installed here, which are necessary to select the optimal coolant supply.
Characteristics of a distribution manifold with a hydrofoil
When arranging a distribution heating system with a large number of circuits, it is advisable to use collectors with a hydrofoil, which is needed to balance the entire node. This is achieved due to the fact that the device separates the hydraulic circuit of the boiler from the secondary circuit. A heater is connected to a node with a thermohydraulic distributor on the one hand, and a underfloor heating system or radiator heating on the other.
The hydraulic arrow is represented by a vertical hollow pipe equipped with elliptical plugs at the ends. It contributes to the equalization of temperature and pressure, which guarantees an optimal temperature between supply and return.
Such a hydraulic separator allows, if necessary, to mix flows, compensate for the shortage of flow in the secondary circuit, and maintain a constant volume of water. This is achieved by secondary circulation of some part of the coolant. The hydraulic arrow eliminates the possibility of sudden temperature changes in the pipes, which negatively affects the period of operation of the system.
Important! Optimal and efficient operation of the heating system with a hydraulic heater is possible if each circuit has its own circulation pump.
Nodes with a hydrofoil are designed only for complex heating systems at large facilities. This is the most appropriate option for a 4-circuit heating distribution manifold. In this case, it is possible to organize independent nodes with different operating parameters, such as hot water supply, radiator heating, underfloor heating, pool water heating. Each of the 4 circuits on the collector for heating may differ in the diameter of the internal section, the type of radiators installed or the heating option.
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If the collectors for the boiler room are used in factory conditions, they are completed with special branches for air and garbage, thereby increasing the efficiency of the entire system.
Features of the Water Distribution manifold comb
To increase the comfort of using hot and cold water, sanitary collectors with shut-off valves are used. The device provides water separation into several streams. Due to the fact that the diameter of the inlet exceeds this value for the outlet pipe by 20-40%, there is no decrease in water flow and pressure when several taps are opened simultaneously.
The collector circuit is more convenient and comfortable to operate than the traditional one. However, its cost will be several times higher than the price of a conventional system. For example, the Pexay water distribution collector costs 5-10 thousand rubles.
Collectors are made of stainless steel, brass, polypropylene or cross-linked polyethylene. Pipes for the water supply system can be attached using threaded connections, by means of Euro cones, with the use of compression fittings. A combined version is also used, which involves a threaded connection for large diameters and soldering or compression fittings for small ones.
Distribution collectors for water supply can be equipped with 2-6 outlets. The product has two fasteners for docking, which correspond to the diameter of the pipe supplying water. They are also used to connect several elements into a composite block without the use of additional adapters.
Important! The collector water supply system allows you to turn off one of the water consumers in order to carry out repair and restoration work without affecting the rest.
When choosing a material for the manufacture of the collector, the type of supply pipe should be taken into account. It is better if they are made of the same material. Here it should be taken into account that polyethylene products are connected by compression fittings, and polypropylene products are connected by soldering. A filter, a metering device and a check valve should be installed in front of the collector.
Useful advice! To facilitate installation work and ensure reliable connection of elements, it is necessary that the collector for water supply, pipes and fittings are manufactured by the same manufacturer.
Materials for the production of a distribution manifold comb for heating
For the manufacture of a heating collector, different materials can be used, but they must be distinguished by increased strength and high performance characteristics.
Currently, steel, polymer and brass collectors are very popular. Steel can be used for the production of both central and local elements. It does not deform under the influence of high temperatures and high pressure, special alloys are not subject to corrosion, which increases their service life. The main disadvantage of steel elements is the high price of heating collectors.
Brass devices are in no less demand. Due to the fact that the material is resistant to high pressure and temperature, it is ideal for local and centralized nodes. In terms of its technical and operational characteristics, it is similar in stainless steel. Brass collectors are characterized by a high cost, exceeding the price of steel analogues.
Polymer products have a more limited range of applications. Plastic collectors are not able to withstand the high temperature in the central node, so they can be used only for local variants where the temperature of the coolant will be lower. The products are characterized by low weight, ease of installation and a long period of operation. The main advantage of the products is their low cost.
Important! Polymer pipes should not be used to connect a underfloor heating system.
Basic recommendations for choosing a heating collector
Before purchasing a heating collector, it is necessary to study the technical characteristics of the devices, which include the system capacity, the maximum operating pressure of the product, the possibility of connecting additional circuits, the availability of equipment for monitoring and automation, the amount of electricity consumed. These parameters are specified in the passport to the device.
Important! The pressure in the distribution system will depend on the installation location of the collector.
When choosing a collector for radiator heating or a underfloor heating system, it should be borne in mind that a high-quality and durable device will have a high cost. This is due to the fact that durable expensive materials are used for its manufacture, and the production technology is carried out on the latest, improved equipment. The quality guarantee is the purchase of a collector from a well-known manufacturer with a worldwide reputation.
A simple system can be installed independently, and it is better to entrust the installation of an advanced type of heating collector to a specialist. This is especially true of the distribution node for 3-4 circuits. The collector system will be able to fully function in the presence of taps, plugs and a circulation pump for each circuit, which will increase the cost of the system.
Selection of the installation location of the heating collector
Before connecting the heating collector, the installation site is checked for the absence of any interference. Such a distribution heating system involves floor-by-floor installation of pipelines. An independent heating circuit with autonomous control is organized for each floor. At the same time, the parameters of the subsystem they serve are taken into account.
The node is installed in a separate niche just above the floor. The location of the device is selected at the design stage of the house. If this was not provided, then the collector can be placed anywhere by hiding it in the closet. The main requirement is the optimal humidity of the room where the heating distribution unit will be located. A storage room, corridor or dressing room is suitable for this purpose.
The cabinet for the distribution unit can be made independently or purchased ready-made from a manufacturer that produces shut-off valves. The design is represented by a metal box with doors. Holes are made in the end walls of the product for laying pipelines of the system.
If aesthetic requirements are not imposed on the installation site of the collector, then it can be attached to the wall in an open form using special clamps.
Popular manufacturers of heating system collectors
Rehau and Oventrop companies are considered to be popular manufacturers of high-quality collectors, which give the maximum warranty period for their products. Consumers note the high quality of products, reliability, ease of installation and long service life.
Oventrop company specializes in the production of universal collector models that are ideal for radial heating, underfloor heating and water supply systems. High-quality stainless steel is used for the manufacture of products. Collectors are able to withstand temperatures up to 120 ° C. The cost of products varies from 2.5 to 28 thousand rubles.
The most popular among consumers are combs for radial heating made of stainless steel. Such collectors are designed for a pressure of 10 bar and a temperature in the system up to 100 ° C. You can buy the product for 1.7 thousand rubles. Distribution manifolds for underfloor heating made of tool steel are available with valve additions, with the help of which the operation of the system is regulated. The collectors are designed for a pressure of 6 bar and a temperature of up to 70 ° C. You can buy a two-circuit product for 3.5 thousand rubles.
Rehau distribution manifolds are distinguished by a more attractive appearance, which makes it possible to mount them on the wall in an open way. The products are made of stainless steel and brass. The company produces advanced models equipped with flow meters, taps, valves and a pump. You can purchase the device for 1.5-32 thousand rubles, which depends on the number of contours of the product.
The HKV comb for the floor heating system, made of brass, is very popular. The collector is designed for temperatures up to 80 °C and operating pressure up to 6 bar. The cost of a two-circuit product is 6.5 thousand rubles.
The Rehau HLV distribution manifold can be used for radial heating. The brass product can withstand a temperature of 80 ° C and a pressure of 8 bar. The price of the model is 4 thousand rubles.
The domestic manufacturer Sever deserves attention, offering high-quality hydraulic manifolds at an affordable cost, which varies between 2.5-20 thousand rubles. The products are made mainly of steel. Pexay heating collectors are characterized by an ideal price-quality ratio, the price of which is on average 5-12 thousand rubles.
What to make a heating collector with your own hands: variants
Before proceeding to the independent manufacture of the device, it is required to perform the calculation of the heating collector with the determination of the number of circuits, prepare the necessary materials and tools.
For a heating system, the diameter of the pipes should be equal to 12.7 mm. The collector is made with a diameter of 25-40 mm, which is determined by the type of boiler. The distance between the taps is 15 mm, and between the feed and return output is 25 cm.
To produce a heating collector made of polypropylene, a pipe with a diameter of 32 mm and tees of 32x32x16 mm will be needed. A tee is installed on one side of the pipeline, to which an air outlet and a tap for draining water are connected. On the other side of it, a valve and a pipe, feeding or diverting, are mounted.
The assembly can also be assembled from brass fittings and tees, having previously completed the heating collector circuit with the required number of circuits. The elements are attached to each other by means of a cushioning material in the form of linen tow or a liquid retainer. It is better to mount complex collector systems using a profile pipe and shut-off and control valves. In this case, pipes of different diameters are used, which are connected by welding.
The guarantee of reliability and efficient operation of the heating system is a correctly selected and competently mounted collector unit. Due to the fact that it can consist of several circuits, it is possible to monitor each group of heating devices individually, which makes the operation of the heating system especially convenient and comfortable.