Old Ireland, new technology. The search for reliable solar water heating.
Around nine or ten years ago I got a Thermomax water heating system installed. In theory these should provide the home it is fitted to with loads of virtually free hot water, and since the only moving part in the whole system is a pump of the same type fitted to an ordinary boiler, they should be reliable. It was not cheap, but at that time the tubes came with a 20 year warranty, so I thought at least my investment was pretty safe. Some chance! Thermomax went bankrupt, and were taken over by Kingspan, who naturally would not stand by the guarantees made by the old version of the company. After leaving university many, many years ago, I briefly worked at the Thermomax factory when they were still based in my home town of Bangor. At that time each tube was an independent unit, using a refrigerant gas to pass heat into a manifold that was connected to the hot water tank. The factory used to test the tubes by attaching them to clips on the outside wall of the factory, without a ma