Ground Source Heat Pumps
A Ground Source Heat Pump collects low level heat from the ground through an underground network of collector pipework and increases this heat to a usable level within a property.
When designed correctly, in a modern property the ground source heat pump only requires one kWh of electricity to deliver four kWh of heat.
Contrary to popular belief, heat pumps are not a new technology, they have been successfully utilised in Scandinavia for over 30 years. Ground Source Heat Pumps have been proved invaluble during the harsh winter months, fueled only by electricity and the warmth of the ground.
Ground Source Heat pumps
Ground Source Heat Pumps are becoming very popular in rural areas where mains gas is not available, especially in new build properties. Heatpumps are referred to as a fit and forget technology, meaning they look after themselves and are fully automated, fuelled only by electricity and the warmth of the earth. There is minimal maintenance required and they have an expected service life of over 20 years.
A Ground Source Heat Pump system can compliment other renewable technologies such as Solar PV, Wind Turbine, Solar Thermal, Biomass or a Wood Burning Stove with back boiler to further increase energy savings.
A Solar PV system or turbine will contribute electricity to the running of a heatpump, maximising usage of the electricity generated. Solar thermal and Solar PV can be linked to the hot water tank / immersion heater to contribute to the hot water demand during the summer, when the heatpump does not run for heating purposes.
A Wood Stove would effectively contribute to the heating system if designed in conjunction with a thermal store.
Getting the most from a Ground Source Heat Pump
Ground source heating is a science, gone are the days of estimating the heat loss to a property and oversizing a boiler to suit.
A Ground Source Heat Pump's efficiency will be at its highest at lower flow temperatures. This why it is important to address the insulation levels in your home proir to a Ground Source Heat Pump installation. Insulation is heavily subsidised by the government at the moment and free in a lot of cases.
Under Floor Heating
Underfloor heating can provide the best efficiency from a Ground Source Heat Pump as the size of the heat emitter i.e: the floor is so big.
Under floor heating can provide the same warmth to a room at a flow temperature of 35° C, than a radiator with a surface area half its size at 70°C, which makes it an ideal companion for any heat pump.
Energy Clever can install your underfloor heating as part of the complete heating package.
Smart Radiators are the next generation radiators, designed for efficient use at lower flow temperatures than a traditional central heating system.
Generally a heat pump working with standard radiators would require oversizing of the radiators, as the smart radiators have a large surface area with a fan to help convection, a smart radiator will be the normal size you would expect from a radiator.
Heat Pump Buffer Cylinder
The Buffer Cylinder in a Ground Source Heat Pump installation is critical to ensure the longest possible service life to the heat pump and its compressor and also to ensure the maximum efficiency from the system.
A Buffer Cylinder increases the volume of heating water to the Ground Source Heating System to prevent the short cycling (on/off) of the heat pump.
Important advice before considering a Ground Source System
The design calculation for a Ground Source Heat Pump System is the most critical aspect to the project, to ensure the system runs efficiently and saves energy. The wrong calculation could see the heat pump running costs higher than gas or oil.