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Answering your frequently asked questions

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Quality Assurance

During the development of consumer products, it becomes apparent with time what these products should and should not do. Solar hot water systems have been on the market for over a century, and nowadays they are built to exacting requirements.

The important issue for Solahart customers is this - what standards are in place for products and manufacturing processes that they can trust without question? Are all solar water heaters built to comply with internationally recognised standards?

What exactly are Standards?

Any manufacturing company may make claims about its products, its quality assurance, but without stringent third party testing and evaluation, such claims are just words. Solahart complies with two important forms of standards: consistency in manufacture and quality of manufacture. It also complies with a wide range of standards set by international agencies. All of these standards are set down and policed by third parties who have no financial interest in the manufacturer itself.

Construction standards are set down by independent experts after long and exhaustive studies of what performance should be expected from a solar water heater, and what testing can be done in manufacture to ensure compliance.


What are ISO and ISO 9001?

International Organisation for Standardisation - ISO, is a world-wide federation of national standards bodies. International organisations, (governmental and non-governmental), in liaison with ISO, take part in setting standards. The International Standard ISO 9001 is one of three International Standards dealing with quality system requirements. It is the highest accreditation available internationally. The customer can be assured that a company's management, service and manufacturing procedures are always consistent.

Solahart has been assessed and complies with ISO 9001 (registration number QEC 0360) and its compliance is reviewed several times a year.

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Meeting The Key Australian Standard AS2712

Whereas ISO 9001 deals with overall company standards, the Solahart products meet specific product and manufacturing standards. Overseen by Standards Australia, one the world's premier standards authorities, Solahart manufactures in accordance with AS2712 which specifies requirements for the design and construction of solar hot water systems.

The important issue for Solahart customers is this - what standards are in place for their products and manufacturing processes that they can trust without question?

All Solahart domestic solar hot water systems are approved to the Australian Standard AS2712, a stringent construction quality measure that few manufacturers have the capacity to comply with.

There are product test requirements for ten different aspects of manufacture.

  • Is the storage tank welded properly?
  • Does the ceramic lining adhere properly?
  • Are the connection fittings strong enough?
  • Does the tank maintain water temperature correctly?
  • Does the system deliver hot water according to specification?
  • Does the storage tank withstand pressure of twice the maximum working pressure?
  • Do the safety devices work properly?
  • Is the ceramic lining of adequate quality?
  • Does the solar collector stand up to very high ambient temperatures?
  • Does the collector perform efficiently?
  • Does the collector take in any water?
  • Is the collector glass resistant to hail?

The answers are all "yes" for Solahart products. The fact that Solahart storage tanks will always withstand more than twice the normal working pressure plus withstand a quarter of a million pressure pulsations from 0 to 1000kpA is the key factor in gaining compliance with AS2712.

Only structural steels are able to withstand these rigorous tests.

These tests are conducted in accordance with the standard, and there is a constant review process that ensures Solahart always complies. Only then can a manufacturer justify the claim that it meets the conditions of AS2712 and the Standards that apply to water heaters.

Neither stainless steel or copper systems currently comply with AS2712.
 

The Watermark And Its Significance

In order to sell water heaters, all manufacturers must comply with simple safety and health requirements. The Watermark is a minimum requirement that only confirms health and safety acceptability. It is not the basis of compliance to AS2712, nor ISO 9001 and carries no significance internationally.


What is NATA And Why Is It Necessary?

Gaining accreditation nationally and internationally means that Solahart design, development, production, installation and servicing meets the highest international standards. But exactly how is the standard met in practice? Testing must be done under approved and accredited conditions.

NATA is the National Association of Testing Authorities, set up in 1947 by the Australian Government to provide a national laboratory accreditation system. In Solahart's case, the company has had an on-site testing laboratory at its production plant since 1990. Gaining NATA accreditation is a stringent procedure, and is constantly under review.

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Solahart adheres to the highest of international standards.

The purpose of Solahart's NATA accredited on-site facility is to enable the company to comply with a range of Standards that govern the manufacture of water heaters. It also enables the company to gain accreditation internationally under the ISO scheme.


What do these standards mean to the customer?

When manufacturing companies achieve compliance with stringent international standards, it means that third party organisations with no financial interest in the company are critically and constantly reviewing the company's adherence to the standards set down.

Solahart products and manufacturing processes are subjected to a regular process of testing and evaluation which the consumer can trust absolutely.

TYPE OF APPROVAL

AUTHORITY

APPR. No.

Appraisal certificate New Zealand

 BTL (BRANZ)

287

Australian solar systems approval

 AS2712Australian Standards

1048

Cyclone frame approval

 Dept. of Lands, Housing
 Darwin NT (Aust).

M/507/1

Electrical approval Solar storage tanks

 Office of Energy Western
 Australia

W2281

Gas booster FD15 and FD15-12

 Australian Gas Association

4766

Performance test Holland

 TNO

94-BB1-R 1314
93-BB1-R0185
94-BB1-R0150

Plumbing authority approval USA

 IAPMO

C3542
S1834

Product approval Australia

 BT

319/1112-463

Product approval Germany to TRD509

 TUV BAYERN SACHSEN

02-228-515

Product approval Spain

 ATISAE Valencia*

*

Product approval USA to OG300

 SRCC Washington D.C.*

*

Product/manufacturing approval Japan

 JIS

AU8501

Product approval France

 CSTB

17-426

The Solahart International Approvals
* Denotes letter of Authority rather than certification number.

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Solahart continually monitors the quality and performance of its own products and those of its competitors.

Certifications and Quality Measures

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Estrada do Algueirão,  31-1º  Dto.
2725 Algueirão - Portugal
Tel. (351)  21  922  9540 - Fax (351)  21  921  0418
Email:  solahart@digal.pt