11 Mar Ground Source Heat Pumps, Your Guide.
Ground Source Heat Pumps are at the core of our quest to transition the UK to a green economy. But what is a Ground Source Heat Pump, how do they work, what savings can you expect and most importantly what are the benefits? By the end of this blog you will find yourself becoming a Ground Source wizard and will know the difference between a slinky and borehole set up.
So How do they work?
Our Earth is constantly being heated by the sun’s rays. This otherwise dormant energy stored in the ground can be utilised in your home for providing heating and hot water by using a Ground Source Heat Pump. So, heat from the ground? Yes! Low grade heat is absorbed by pumping an antifreeze solution around collector pipes buried in the ground or water. This is transferred as useable heat via an internal Ground Source Heat Pump unit where the heat is exchanged via a highly efficient refrigeration process.
For every 1kWh of electricity this process requires, it will provide around 5 kHW of heat, this ratio is measured by the Coefficient of Performance (COP) as mentioned in our last blog. And as the temperature underground is stable for the majority of the year, the efficiency of a Ground Source Heat Pump is far superior to that of an Air Source Heat Pump.
How do they collect the heat?
Every home is unique, and the methods chosen to extract the heat from the ground will depend on a variety of factors, such as geology, how much land you have available and whether there is a replenishable water source nearby.
A Mix of water and anti-freeze (brine) is pumped around a closed loop system, buried 1 meter into the ground. As the solution circulates, low grade heat is absorbed and transferred to the heat pump, once the heat has been exchanged, the process starts over again. Although this is the most effective solution, you will need a minimum land area of roughly double the footprint of your property.
Borehole drilling is favoured by systems that have a substantial heat demand, or where land area is limited. Depending on the geology of the area and the amount of heat required, several boreholes are typically drilled to a depth of up to 100 metres.
Closed Loop Water Source
A similar method of extraction to horizontal collectors, where pipes are laid in water instead of underground. Water has a high thermal capacity, meaning it is useful for storing heat energy and transferring it around.
Open Loop Water Source
Unlike a closed loop system, heat is directly extracted from ground water and then returned back to the aquifer. Before you explore this option, permission must be obtained by the Environment Agency.
Ground Source Heat Pumps offer the lowest attainable running costs for providing heat and hot water to your home. Ground Source works best when left running consistently. All of our units are inverter driven, which means they are able to regulate output to only provide the required amount of heat to maintain your desired temperature.
|Ground Source Heat Pump||£800|
|Air Source Heat Pump||£913|
*Average running cost for an average 3 / 4 bedroom house over a 12-month period.
As you can see Ground Source Heat Pump provides the lowest running costs in comparison to Air Source or traditional fossil fuels.
Become energy independent, instead of relying on fuel deliveries or unstable gas prices, a heat pump relies solely on electricity to run, therefor by generating electricity from solar panels and by being savvy about your electric supply, you can power your home solely from renewables, without breaking the bank.
Earn whilst you heat, The Renewable Heat Incentive or RHI is a government scheme which was set up in 2014, with the purpose to incentivise the uptake of renewable heating systems for homes and businesses. The current RHI level for ground source is 20.46p Per KWH for every unit you produce, and you could earn up to a maximum of £ 4,206 a year for 7 years. Meaning before you know it, the system will have paid for itself and you’ll be heat independent. Be rest assured RHI tariffs are exempt from income tax. This means that domestic users and other income tax payers will not be taxed on any income received from the Feed-In Tariffs or the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHI payments are also index linked so they are adjusted for inflation on 1 April each year.
So, is a Ground Source Heat Pump the right product for you?
With low running cost and with a payback possible within 7 years, your return of investment may happen sooner than you think. If you are interested in finding out how much a Ground Source Heat Pump would cost you, visit our contact page and our team will be more than happy to provide you with a no obligation quote to start your Energy Independence Journey.