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2-22 System Components Figure 25 Air vent TEMPERATURE-PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE A temperature-pressure relief valve is also called a pressure-temperature relief valve or P&T valve or T&P valve. These names are used interchangeably in the industry. This valve (Figure 26) protects system components from excessive pressures and temperatures. A pressure-temperature relief valve is always plumbed to the solar storage (as well as auxiliary) tank. In thermosiphon and ICS systems, where the solar tanks are located on a roof, these tanks may also be equipped with a temperature-pressure relief valve since they are in some jurisdictions considered storage vessels.

The expansion tank prevents damage from overpressurization and eliminates the potential creation of a vacuum inside the collector loop. 2-20 System Components Expansion tanks are normally pre-charged by the manufacturer to a set psi. The system pressure-relief devices provide overpressure protection. The size of the expansion tank depends on the volume of fluid in the system and the rate of fluid expansion at higher temperatures. The higher the temperature the more the fluid expands. The size of the expansion tank must allow for the total potential expansion of the fluid or elevated pressures will be experienced causing the pressure relief valve to open and result in complete pressure loss in the solar loop.

Whether a single- or double-walled exchanger is used depends on the heat-transfer fluid used in the system. Nontoxic fluids such as propylene glycol can be used with a single-walled heat exchanger. But ethylene glycol, a toxic fluid, should be used only with a double-walled heat exchanger. 2-18 System Components Figure 22 Single- and double-wall heat exchangers Heat exchanger materials Heat exchanger materials must be compatible with the system's fluid and piping. These materials can be steel, aluminum, bronze, stainless steel or cast iron, but copper is by far the most common.

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