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Ground Source Heat Pumps

A ground source heat pump is an energy efficient system that harnesses the natural heat retained in the earth. The heat that is present in the soil is actually solar heat in that the heat energy present in the soil has actually been absorbed from the sun. At a depth of 2meters below the surface the temperature is around 11°C. This Temperature is fairly constant, this stable temperature ensures the highest efficiency levels possible all year round, unlike an air source heat pump it is not subject to below freezing temperatures which affect its performance.

The ground source heat pump system effectively plays the same role as a traditional boiler heating system. But unlike a traditional boiler system which burns a fuel source such as oil, gas or coal to produce heat. The ground source heat pump converts the energy it extracts from the ground into heat than is then used to provide both space heating and hot water requirements. It does this through a network of underground piping which is connected to the heat pump. The size of the underground piping circuit or collector area is dependent on property size. If there is insufficient space for such piping to be placed a vertical borehole can drilled instead.

Advantages of Ground Source Heat Pumps

  • Improved Property BER Rating
  • More Efficient Than Air Source Heat Pump Systems
  • Cheaper to run than Oil or Gas Heating Systems
  • Lower Carbon Emissions
  • Minimal Maintenance
  • Safer Than Conventional Fuel Systems
  • No Stored Fuel Required
  • No Fuel Deliveries Required
  • Minimal Maintenance Needed
  • Extremely Reliable
  • Can Be Used For Cooling
  • Long Life Span

Worcester Bosch Ground Source Heat Pump Explained

Things To Consider Before Installing A Ground Source Heat Pump

 Not every property type is suitable for a ground source heat pump, from insulation values to property location and type all effect the factors needed to ensure an efficient ground source heat pump system. Below we have put together some of the more factors to be considered before you undertake such a large costly project.

Oversizing a Ground Source Heat Pump Sizing – The correct sizing of the ground source heat pump and collector area is not to be underestimated. Unlike a traditional boiler heating system where it is acceptable to have a larger than required heat output size, an oversized heat pump over will have a direct effect on the system performance and cost. From a costing point of view the difference in price between different size heat pumps has a larger margin. Where a traditional Boiler may not have much of a cost difference between a 20 and 30KW boiler. The costing ‘’between’’ a heat pump with such a size margin can be extreme. A larger than required heat pump will also cause cycling of the heat pump.

Under sizing a Ground Source Heat Pump – When designing a ground source heat pump system it is important that it is correctly sized for 100% of the property’s year round heating and hot water demands. This ensures that the built in immersion heaters are only required for sterilisation or when the heating load is outside of it design parameters. This maintains the low operating cost of the heat pump. An undersized ground source heat pump ultimately results in higher operating costs, a hard working heat pump that could in effect cause the soil surrounding the collector piping to freeze.

Heating System Type and Radiator System – The best heating system choice for a ground source heat pump is an underfloor heating system. Underfloor heating generally requires a heat input temperature of 35°C compared to radiator systems which require a heat input temperature of 45°C. Although this 10°C temperature difference may seem quite low it can cause a loss of efficiency amounting to up to 25%. By using an underfloor heating system the highest heat pump efficiency levels attainable can be achieved.

Property Heat Loss - The level of heat loss a building fabric experiences will have a direct impact on the size and operation of the ground source heat pump. A high level of insulation coupled with an airtight building utilising heat recovery ventilation ensures a high performing heat pump with minimal running costs. Although desirable an air tight property is not a necessity, but a low heat loss factor will still be required to ensure a cost effective, economical heating system.

Heating Controls – To maximise the efficiency of a ground source heat pump the correct heating controls must be utilised. These controls ensure a comfortable environment for the end user along with the most efficient usage of the heat pump.

Get A Quote For A Ground Source Heat Pump

If you thinking about installing a Ground Source Heat Pump, but are unsure if your property is suitable and which type of heat pump would best suit your needs and budget. We are ready to help you, simply contact us through the contact page or simply call us. We can then assess your property for suitability and issue a no hidden cost quotation. This service is free and without obligation.