Renewable Energy - Ground Source Heat Pumps
Heat Pumps are energy-efficient heating systems that take free renewable heat energy from the ground, water or air and process it to heat your home or business. All around us are sources of energy in the form of solar energy which can provide us with heat. Due to global warming, rising energy costs, and uncertainty about world supply, more people are turning to renewable energy. Ground source heat pumps are fast becoming the most popular renewable energy technology used to extract heat energy from the soil or ground water.
How Does it Work
Heat pumps are extremely efficient, allowing you to have a warm house and hot water all day every day at considerably less cost than traditional heating systems.
Considerations when installing a ground source heat pump:
- Space outside for the ground loop
- Ground will need to be suitable for digging trenches or borehole
- The building needs to be well-insulated - ensure, wall floor and loft insulation to a high standard and especially to building standards
- The efficiency will be greatly improved if the heated water is kept as low a temperature as possible, therefore, under floor heating is highly recommended.
Surface CollectorHeat is stored in the soil and Heat Pumps harness this by means of burying specially manufactured pipe in trenches and this is described as surface collector. The surface ground collector method is cost-effective where sufficient useable land is available and the higher the water content of the soil the better.
Bore Hole Collector
Heat is collected in a similar way to the surface ground collector except by drilling boreholes. Again specially manufacutred u-shaped collector piping is sunk into a borehole. A borehole requires little ground area and is suited to smaller plots and when a heat pump is replacing an existing fossil fuel boiler. Drilling a borehole needs to be carried out by a specialist contractor and may require permissions depending on local conditions.
Outdoor Air Heat Pump
An outdoor air heat pump does not require any ground collector or boreholes, instead , it uses ambient air and transfers it to the water based heating system, even when the air temperature is below freezing. Such air is collected by an outdoor unit which retains the heat required to vaporise the refrigerant. The heat pump connects to the water based heating system inside and delivers both heating and domestic hot water.
The advantage of this type of heat pump is that there is no collector pipe required and therefore it is ideal where space and access is limited.
Benefits of Heat Pump
- Energy Saving reduced running costs
- Reduce carbon emissions
- More comfortable and healthier indoor climate
- Lower maintenance costs
- Less exposure to escalating fuel costs
- Increases property marketability