GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Ground source heat pumps extract thermal energy from the ground near your property and convert this into heating and hot water for your home.
What is an Ground Source Heat Pump?
Ground source heat pumps extract thermal energy from the ground near your property and converts this into heating for your home and hot water. Ground source heat pumps are designed to work in cold temperatures which is ideal for homes in the UK.
How it works
Pipe is laid in the ground in close proximity to your home (such as in the garden). A fluid called Thermal transfer fluid (TTF) flows around a loop of pipe and heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid. This then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. Subsequently, this raises the temperature of the fluid and then transfers that heat to water.
There is no better time to consider going green to heat your home. Ground source heat pumps and other renewable energy heating solutions have become very effective and reliable. The benefits of using an ground source heat pump are:
- Reduce your carbon footprint by using renewable energy. Generate less CO2 emissions as pumps are high efficiency and run using electricity.
- Designed to work in cold temperatures.
- Heats your home and hot water.
- Can be used with your existing heating system (some radiators may need upgrading)
- Ideal to use with underfloor heating.
- Heat pumps are included in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which makes them a viable financial investment.
- Options available for homes with limited space.
Installation of a ground source heat pump system is more complex than an air source heat pump due to some ground work being required to install the loop pipes. The pipe loop can be buried in trenches or inserted into a borehole depending on how much space is available at your property.
However, the ground source heat pump system can be connected to an exsisting heating system, although some radiatiors may need to be changed.
Unfortunately, ground source heat pumps are not suitable for all properties. Therefore, we recommend you speak to our installation team for professional advice and a free of charge quotation.
What to Consider?
To help our customers and provide some guideance, we have produced the information below.
What supplies your heating and hot water presently?
Cost of installation can vary depending on what heating system you currently have. For example, is your home gas or oil? Does the heating system have a cylinder or is it a combination boiler?
If you require the heat pump to provide hot water, then a new high efficiency cylinder has to be fitted as well as an expansion vessel and additional space for a 30 or 50L volumiser/buffer unit.
Do you have a suitable space?
There are a couple of options depending on the space available.
You have lot’s of space: If you have a large garden then a trench could be dug to lay a ground loop. You’ll need to bear in mind that machinery, such as a digger will need access from a road entrance. Furthermore, the area will need to avoid trees, as roots can cause problems when digging trenches. The length of the trenches will depend on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need.
Limited space: If space is limited then it could be possible to drill vertical boreholes. This is usually more expensive than digging trenches and may require a thermogeological survey. The borehole depth will depend on the heat demand of a property. The borehole is likely to be around 75-200 metres deep and may require more than one hole depending on the size of the house.
Do you have radiators?
Typical a gas boiler flow temp is 70 degrees. Whereas, an air source heat is between 30-45 degrees. With a heat pump running at lower temperatures the radiators may have to be larger to counteract this.
Additional information: As the system takes longer to heat from cold, the heating is left on for longer periods of time. The control temperature is turned down overnight and when the house is unoccupied, rather than being switched off completely. Air source heat pumps work well with underfloor heating.
Do you have a suitable position for the ground source heat pump unit inside?
The heat pump unit is installed inside the property and often contains the hot water cylinder. It is a large unit roughly the size of a fridge.
Insulation – Are the house walls, floors and roof well insulated?
Due to the lower running temperatures of a heat pump, it is vital that heat loss is kept to a minimum, the more insulated a property is, the more effective and efficient the heat pump will be.
Do you know about the Renewable heat Incentive (RHI) - Government Grants?
Until March 2022 the RHI is payable on the EPC annual KW heat pump demand for the property. Up to a maximum of 20,000kw hrs per annum at 10.92p/KW hr. There will be a Government Grant of £5,000 from March 2022.
An EPC less than 2 years old is required to claim the RHI.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a financial incentive scheme designed to encourage uptake of renewable heating among domestic consumers. The objective of the Domestic RHI is to significantly increase the proportion of heat generated from renewable sources.