Solutions Inspired Ltd

Creative solutions with over 25 years of experience

0191 417 45 77

Ground Source Heat Pumps - Low Cost Green Energy for the Home

Heat pumps – A full range of heat pump options is available from Solutions Inspired Ltd. From ground source to air source or exhaust air, Solutions Inspired Ltd can specify the correct heat pump model for your project. We can also advise on compliance strategies for the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Because Solutions Inspired Ltd supplies all of these technologies you can be sure they will integrate seamlessly as we provide all of the fittings necessary to complete the installation.

Heat pumps work by extracting the inexhaustible free supply of solar energy stored naturally either in the ground, air or water and utilizing it for domestic heating and hot water. Solar energy in this form is an unlimited resource that produces no harmful emissions and requires no transportation or supply pipelines.

In a well-insulated property, every 1 kilowatt of electricity used to power the heat pump can provide up to 4 kilowatts of free energy. This ratio is referred to as the Coefficient of Performance or CoP, in this case the CoP would be 4. Looking at it another way, a CoP of 4 means the efficiency of the heat pump is 400%. Compare this to a boiler at 90% efficiency and the advantage is clear.

Advantages

  • Low carbon emissions
  • Low heating bills with a high-efficiency system
  • The perfect partner for underfloor heating systems
  • Full integration with solar systems
  • A good alternative for properties with no access to gas

Ground Source Heat Pumps - more information

Ground source heat pumps work by using heat stored in the ground from the sun's solar radiation to supply all of the energy required for a home's heating and hot water system.

The top 15 metres of the Earth's surface maintains a relatively constant temperature of approximately 12 degrees Centigrade. This energy can be used to heat buildings indirectly. Pipe is buried in the ground, either in a borehole or a horizontal trench. The pipe is usually a closed circuit and is filled with a mixture of water and antifreeze, which is pumped round the pipe, absorbing heat from the ground. In winter the ground is warmer than the air and buildings above. The anti-freeze mixture absorbs heat from the ground, which is then concentrated and transferred to the buildings. This heat can be used to heat domestic water and a low temperature heating system such as underfloor heating.

The efficiency of a ground source heat pump is measured in Coefficient of Performance (CoP). This is the ratio of units of heat output for each unit of electricity used to drive the compressor and pump for the ground loop. A CoP of 4 means that for every kilowatt of electricity put in, you get 4 kilowatts of energy in the form of warm water. The flow temperature of the warm water is typically between 35 degrees Centigrade and 45 degrees Centigrade; much lower than achieved by a domestic boiler. The units can reach higher temperatures, but the CoP is then compromised. Keeping the temperature at the lower end of the scale ensures the system operates efficiently.

Ground source heat pumps are the most efficient of the heat pumps if they are sized and fitted correctly. As with most technological advances, they only work if you do your calculations correctly, and heat pumps are no exception. In order to make a ground source heat pump work, attention to detail is very important. You first need to work out the heat loss and this will enable you to select the correct sized heat pump for the job. This will produce a COP (coefficient of performance) of 4.5 which basically means that for 1 kilo watt of electrical energy the unit consumes it produces 4.5 kilo watts of heat.

However just as important is once you have selected the heat pump, you need to work out the refrigeration capacity of the heat pump and size the ground loop, which is the collector area, to match the energy available in the ground. This is a very important step and if undersized (which is common) will have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of the heat pump.

We always calculate the ground loop for the heat pump correctly and would prefer to oversize the ground loop and not win a job, than under size it. In my opinion this is false economy, as this will only lead to a reduction in efficiency and cause the heat pump to work harder than it needs to.

We have experience in all ground source heat pumps, from standard ground source with ground loops, to bore holes and even water source where you take water from a river pond or the ground and extract the energy before returning the water to the source.

Contact us directly by clicking here