14 June 2002
Figure 4-2. Collector Array Terminology
Collector Array. The collector is one internal-manifold, flat-plate collector
unit. The collector array is the entire set of collectors necessary to satisfy the collector
area specified by the thermal analysis. These collectors are often connected together
into smaller sub-arrays, or banks. These banks can be arranged in different ways (rows
and columns) to provide the required area, allowing the roof shape to vary depending
on the building plan. "Supply" piping provides unheated fluid to the array and "return"
piping carries heated fluid away from the array.
The piping used
to carry the heat transfer fluid through the
array can act as either manifold (also called header) piping or riser piping. Simply
stated, the pipes that act as risers branch off of a main supply pipe, or manifold.
Manifold piping typically serves two functions, as an array manifold (supply or return) or
as a bank manifold (supply or return). As the name implies, the array supply manifold
is the supply for the entire array, whereas a bank supply manifold is the pipe run
consisting of all of the collector internal manifolds, after the bank is connected together.
The bank manifold acts as a riser off of the array manifold. For the case of a small
system that has only one bank, the array supply manifold is the same as the bank
manifold. When more than one bank exists, the array supply manifold branches to