There are two basic product ranges, Hyrax Aqua and Hyrax Star.
The Hyrax Aqua is for domestic hot water production and is available with 1 or 2 panels. The hot water cylinder has the heat pump unit (compressor and other ancillary equipment) installed in a chamber directly above but affixed to the top of the hot water cylinder. In other designs, this compressor has been historically fitted on the side of the cylinder. This is unsatisfactory in the UK, particularly in a retrofit situation. When replacing an old hot water cylinder located in an airing cupboard, the side mounted compressor often precludes fitting these units. The Hyrax Aqua cylinder does not have this extended part on the side, so a direct replacement is possible in nearly all situations. An addition to this other is to have the compressor unit mounted remotely from the cylinder, for example in the loft space above the airing cupboard. This has the advantage to allow tall, slim cylinders to be fitted in existing spaces easily.
The condensing unit contains all the refrigeration equipment and features a sophisticated micro chiller controller that is very powerful, yet intuitive to use. For space heating, these units always come with a suitably sized Buffer vessel. This is basically a hot water storage cylinder that is connected to supplying the heating system with hot water. The buffer vessel permits longer running times for the condenser unit and leads to greater efficiency and improved reliability of the working parts, particularly the compressor.
Hot water cylinders.
The hot water cylinders are also manufactured in the UK. The standard material for the cylinders is stainless steel. Copper cylinders are also available as a special order. Hyrax will not offer mild steel cylinders that have glass / enamel lining. In our experience, the glass linings are brittle and can be damaged if for example the cylinder is mistreated during transit. If the enamel becomes broken, it exposes the steel which will rust and cause the water to become tainted and discoloured. This situation would require the cylinder to be replaced. The small saving by choosing a steel cylinder against a stainless steel option would be lost in these circumstances.
Double safety heating coil.
The heating coil that is fitted inside the cylinder has hot refrigerant gas flowing through it. It is this hot gas that heats the water so quickly and efficiently. However, it is very important that no refrigerant can be permitted to contaminate the water, so Hyrax Aqua is fitted with a special double safety heating coil. This feature meets the highest level of European safety regulations.
The panels have been designed with the optimum density of the internal refrigerant channels. This design maximises the surface area for evaporation of the liquid refrigerant as it flows inside the panel, thereby optimising the efficiency of the system. The panels have been designed to be able to be fitted either in landscape or portrait orientation. This gives greater flexibility when installing on building roofs of unusual shapes.
Every panel has a serial number and year of manufacture physically stamped into the metal. This reinforces the Hyrax quality standard, as we then know exactly where every panel has been installed. In the unlikely event of a manufacturing problem, it will be easy to identify where any problem panels are located and remedial action taken to correct any problems.
The construction of the Hyrax panels is of a very high quality. They are intended to be fitted outside on roofs for a minimum of 30 years, so the engineers have paid special attention to all the features of these panels. Rather than being folded from one sheet of aluminium, Hyrax panels have an aluminium channel section riveted and welded together. This results in superior strength and rigidity of the panel. Also, special threaded inserts are provided around the perimeter of the panel to facilitate easy fixing. It is the attention to the details that sets Hyrax apart from other manufacturers.
The whole panel is finished by powder coating in satin black. Powder coating is much more than just a simple painting process. The panels are cleaned and de-greased. They are then sprayed using a special coating, ensuring that the whole surface is completely covered. The panels are then baked in an oven at 200°C. The heating process cures and bonds the paint to the panel. This guarantees the durability that is required for a product that is continuously exposed to the elements.
Hyrax manufacturer all the roof fixing brackets, with the exception of the rails. These are propriety items. All Hyrax roof fixings including the rails are powder coated to the same standard and colour as the panels to ensure a seamless installation. All fixing accessories are stainless steel to avoid ugly rust marks appearing in the future.
Using a refrigerant instead of water has huge benefits. A refrigerant liquid can absorb very much more free energy from the atmosphere than a water filled system can. This means that you will get hot water virtually all the time. More importantly, you will have hot water when you need it most – in the morning. With a conventional solar water heating system, the water can only be heated by the sun, so you get most hot water in the evening. Generally people prefer to shower in the morning, so for a family of 4 people, a tank full of hot water in the morning is essential. Hyrax can provide this day-after-day, month-after-month. It doesn’t matter if it’s been raining all night, Hyrax will still be working hard and efficiently to give you all the hot water you need. There is no direct comparison between Hyrax and conventional solar. This is also true for your central heating as well. Hyrax will be heating up your water storage buffer vessel throughout the night guaranteeing a warm house in the morning. If you have a low rate electricity meter, heating water at night is much cheaper, so you could have an extra benefit by using Hyrax.
Hyrax panels are made from aluminium. This material, coloured black, is a very good conductor of heat and has been used to ensure maximum efficiency. With the circulating refrigerant inside, this gives a super efficient energy collector. When the sun is shining, the refrigerant absorbs its maximum heat, but Hyrax also works extremely well in rain. There is lots of energy in rain and Hyrax is capable of easily harvesting this energy to heat your water. We all know about misty, grey days in our temperate British climate. This does not affect Hyrax; it just goes on generating hot water whatever the weather. It has been tested with a covering of snow on the panels and it still makes lashings hot water!
Hyrax is super efficient at absorbing energy from the atmosphere, whilst at the same time consuming only a small amount of electricity to drive the machinery. On average, one unit of electricity used produces 4 units of heating. Put another way, the pump consumes 25% of the energy used to heat the water, whilst the remaining 75% of the energy comes from the panels. Hyrax is a very efficient system.