Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Solar / heat pump - diy or professional install ?

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by Adrian Brentnall on May 29, 2006, 9:16 pm
Hi All
We're hoping to move to Ireland very soon.
The house we're moving to is a new build out in the country -
and has been designed to modern heat conservation standards (I hope !)

The pitch of the roof is aligned west/east - and is crying out for
some solar panels. The house has been built with an oil-fired central
heating system to conventional radiators.

There's a fair bit of land around the property - a particular section
of it is fairly damp - and we think it'll need to be built up with
'imported' soil and land drains installed. While doing this it would
be fairly easy to install the piping for a ground-based heat pump
system. Ideally this would feed underfloor heating - but I'm thinking
that it would work at reduced efficiency with the existing rads....?

I enjoyed diy installing the solar dhw system at our current house -
but I know that over in Ireland there are schemes that will fund about
30% of the cost of solar and heat-pump systems.....

So - 64,000 dollar question.....
To diy (without grant aid) or have professional installation (with 30%
grant aid)....?

Installing the solar is something that I'm comfortable with - but the
heat pump install is a bit of an unknown quantity for me.
Interestingly - central heating systems in Ireland seem to be
'installed' outside the house - which means that connecting the heat
pump to the water circuit would be fairly straightforward - and a
'tandem' system could even be possible with the oil as a backup to the
heat pump...

Comments / advice anybody, please ?

Suffolk UK

======return email munged=================
take out the papers and the trash to reply

Posted by john.dawson on June 12, 2006, 1:08 pm

Adrian Brentnall wrote:

A few comments Adrian: installing heat pumps is generally considered a
pro business, but if you're confident no reason you shouldn't do it;
sourcing the kit might be difficult; however, using your rads is a
problem as they are designed for use at 50 - 60 degrees plus, and
you'll be lucky to reach 40 with a heat pump - the usual thing is to
use for underfloor (or wall) heating - very disruptive to retrofit. Re
solar, I'm half way through a DIY solar HW install - and was when
grants were introduced - I still reckon DIY saves a fortune - pro solar
installers are very expensive, and the grants give no incentive for
them to reduce their prices. If I was you I'd forget heat pumps and go
for wood chip to replace the oil boiler (when it needs replacing) - the
way things are going the price of electricity to run a heat pump will
likely erode most savings you might make. But using solar HW to reduce
the water heating cost is a long term winner

Posted by Adrian Brentnall on June 12, 2006, 7:27 pm
 Hi John

On 12 Jun 2006 06:08:14 -0700, john.dawson@iolfree.ie wrote:

Yes - I feared as much. I've tried to contact a couple of West Cork
installers - but no responses so far. Think it's probably best to wait
until we get there & then try phoning round.....

I have read that heat pumps will work with rads - though not as

On our current property the supplier put the tubes up on the roof and
just fed the pipes though the flashing into the roof space for me. I
then did the rest of the plumbing - nothing terribly complicated, and
we were replacing the hw cylinder anyway..

Cost us about UK Pounds 2,200 5 years ago - that's for the collectors,
all fittings and controls, but not including the tank and the copper
pipe (or my time)..

Hmm - that's an interesting thought.
The oil boiler is brand new - so I guess we're looking at 5 - 10 years
service before we need to think about replacement

Agreed. The only thing I'd do differently is to include some sort of
thermo-mixing valve on the feed from the DHW cylinder. Days like today
the hot water is HOT - and some kind of 'mix it down to something
sensible' valve would be a good investment.....

Thanks for your comments

======return email munged=================
take out the papers and the trash to reply

This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
please rate this thread