About this chapter: Chapter 14 addresses solar thermal systems, not photovoltaic systems. The provisions are intended to protect property and life from the hazards associated with high-temperature liquids, pressurized systems and toxic fluids. There are also provisions to protect the building structure and the solar thermal system components from damage.
Potable water supplies to solar systems shall be protected against contamination in accordance with the International Plumbing Code.
Exception: Where all solar system piping is a part of the potable water distribution system, in accordance with the requirements of the International Plumbing Code, and all components of the piping system are listed for potable water use, cross-connection protection measures shall not be required.
Roof-mounted solar collectors that also serve as a roof covering shall conform to the requirements for roof coverings in accordance with the International Building Code.
Exception: The use of plastic solar collector covers shall be limited to those approved light-transmitting plastics meeting the requirements for plastic roof panels in Section 2609 of the International Building Code.
Piping shall be insulated in accordance with the requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code. Exterior insulation shall be protected from degradation. The entire solar loop shall be insulated. Where split-style insulation is used, the seam shall be sealed. Fittings shall be fully insulated. Insulation shall comply with Section 1204.1.
- Those portions of the piping that are used to help prevent the system from overheating shall not be required to be insulated.
- Those portions of piping that are exposed to solar radiation, made of the same material as the solar collector absorber plate and covered in the same manner as the solar collector absorber, or that are used to collect additional solar energy, shall not be required to be insulated.
- Piping in solar thermal systems using unglazed solar collectors to heat a swimming pool shall not be required to be insulated.