Brogan & Curtis, Stamullen Road, Gormanstown, County Meath | T: 01 841 8041 | F: 01 841 8041 | M: 086 250 6728 | M: 086 250 4883

Frequently Asked Questions

How do B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Panel Systems work?

B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar panel Systems produce hot water using power from the sun without creating carbon dioxide or any other greenhouse gas and create no pollution. They produce energy from renewable sources without using scarce fossil fuels and are cost effective. They work all the year round, even in Ireland, so that in all forms of daylight there will be some contribution from a well-designed thermal solar system. Direct sunlight is not needed although B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Systems work more quickly in very strong light. However, the Solar Panels will work fine in the Irish climate.

If there is not enough Solar Energy to power the B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Power System, which may happen from time to time considering the climate in Ireland, the conventional heating system acts as a back up.

Why should I choose a B&C Heating and Plumbing solar water heating system?

The B&C Heating and Plumbing panel is a high quality Kingspan Thermomax panel with a 10 year warranty. The system is designed for optimum performance in colder climates unlike other lower quality systems with much lower warranties that are currently on sale on the Irish market.

Why should I choose B&C Heating and Plumbing to install my solar water heating system?

B&C Heating and Plumbing is one of the longest established Solar Panel and Solar Energy Heating Systems Installer companies in Ireland. Our installation teams have completed hundreds of commercial and residential system installations throughout the East Coast of Ireland. Please view a sample of our customer testimonials (Hyperlink to Testimonials in Contact Page).

In most cases, we will complete residential system installations in one day. Our professional teams of roofers, plumbers and electricians will install a system that is tailored to your specific requirements. B&C Heating and Plumbing will also ensure that all of your associated heating systems are professionally integrated and tested to be fully operational with our Solar Panel System before our commissioning certificate and warranty is issued to the customer.

How much does domestic water heating cost?

Every Irish home spends at on average 27% of its combined energy bills on domestic water heating. If you live in a newer home or one that has good quality roof insulation, cavity wall insulation or double-glazing, the percentage of your bills paying for water heating will be higher than this figure.

At B&C Heating and Plumbing we aim to provide around 70% of your water heating requirements each year - for free. During the summer months a B&C Heating and Plumbing solar water heating system should provide virtually all your hot water. During winter months, because of the short daylight hours available, the B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Panel System will still make a useful contribution of above 25% to your water heating energy.

What about the quality?

Quality is the foundation of our philosophy. We build and install solar panels and solar power systems to last and that is how it should be with all environmental products. The solar heating systems are independently tested and certified as fully complying with BS EN 12975 parts 1 & 2.

Our systems come with installer's guarantees and we support properly installed systems with our own.

  • 20 year Anti-corrosion guarantee
  • 10 year solar panel performance guarantee
  • 2 year guarantee on all other parts

How many panels will I need?

As a general rule of thumb, one B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Panel will provide enough energy to heat 100 litres of hot water.

So for example, if your existing hot water cylinder is 200 litres, we would typically recommend you to have 2 Solar Panels (4 SqM) to provide enough energy for hot water heating. The exact solar water heating specification will vary depending on roof orientation, pipe run, shading, predicted DHW demand. Our engineers are at hand to conduct a professional assessment of the site and also your DHW demand and will recommend an appropriately designed system.

Will the system work at night?

No, the system only works in daylight. At some times of the year there is insufficient daylight and that is why your system will fall back to your conventional heating system (e.g. oil) that will cover your DHW needs at these times.

What servicing does the system need?

Very little. Inside keep an eye on the pressure gauge on the pumping station. It should be around 3 to 5 bar. Fluctuations in the course of use are quite normal but if the gauge shows no pressure please contact your installer. Again, B&C Heating and Plumbing offer a full back-up service for their installation and are available for telephone support if you have any questions with respect to the performance of operation of your system.

Every month you should check visually that nothing has gone wrong outside. Every three years the integrity of the glycol can be checked and tested. Vacuum panels should be checked for the quality of the vacuum every two years and re-evacuated every five years.

What about the environment?

Households create 29% of all carbon dioxide emitted in this country and use 29% of the energy required in the United Kingdom . A B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Panel System will save at least half of a tonne of carbon dioxide. If you reduced that gas to solid carbon, it would fill a sack roughly the size of an old coal sack. That is a huge environmental saving. Our heating systems are probably the most benign way of generating energy available. They do not cause pollution and do not contribute to climate change.

How do I get a B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Panel heating system?

Please contact us and one of our engineers will visit your home to briefly explain the operation of the B&C Heating and Plumbing system to you and also to complete a free survey for your home.

Our engineers will not pressure you into a sale. Rather, we will provide you with impartial advise on solar water heating and provide you with a professional assessment of the suitability of your site for solar water heating and then if appropriate sizing and specification of the system for your DHW demand.

How long do they last and how much do they cost ?

B&C Heating and Plumbing Solar Panel Systems have a life expectancy of over 35 years and require very little maintenance. In most homes our engineering teams will be able to install and commission a system in one day. We will need access to your roof, attic and to your existing cylinder, which will be replaced by a larger capacity, more heavily insulated cylinder. Installation of the heating system will not be unduly disruptive because very little construction works are generally involved.

Prices for solar panel installations vary and will depend on the exact system specification and DHW demand. However, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your specific application and your specific requirements over the phone. We can then provide you with an outline quotation for you to consider before completing a more detailed site survey when an exact quotation will be issued for your consideration. We will also address any of your grant queries and where appropriate complete the grant application process for you.

What is the payback for B&C Heating and Plumbing solar thermal systems?

Well, first and foremost it does have an excellent payback. If you buy coal, oil, electricity or gas the supplier does not offer you any pay back at all. No matter how much gas, oil or coal you buy and no matter how long you buy it for, you will never get your money back. You have to service, maintain and renew you fuel burning equipment. Similarly the electricity company never offers you a payback.

Various government bodies sometimes define payback as the annual fuel bill savings divided by the capital cost. This is simply inaccurate misleading and wrong. If you take a proper view of payback, you have to factor in future energy increases, take account of inflation, look at the savings in boiler servicing and the ability to make a boiler last longer and also add in the losses that a solar thermal system suffers. Performing this calculation accurately most thermal systems offer a pay back of between 6 and 10 years, depending on the fossil fuel displaced, the future fuel inflation factor you use and the amount of hot water you use.

If the product is built as part of the housing infrastructure it will last for around 30 years with minimal maintenance. If the product is built into a home in the course of construction the pay back period declines rapidly. Although payback is one way of looking at the cost it is perhaps more accurate to look at the return on your investment that solar thermal offers. Typically the financial savings of a good solar thermal system will be equivalent to a tax free return on investment of between 8% and 12%.

Need to know more? Contact us for information, a quote or an informal chat about your plumbing needs.
Brogan & Curtis, Stamullen Road, Gormanstown, County Meath | T: 01 841 8041 | F: 01 841 8041 | M: 086 250 6728 | M: 086 250 4883
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