Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ground Source Heat Pumps collects thermal energy from the ground to produce hot water for heating and domestic hot water. The ground collector is in the form of horizontal loops, pipework buried in the ground at a depth of 1.2 meters or vertical boreholes with a depth of 80-150 meters. A system mainly consists of the heat pump unit, a hot water cylinder (connected to the hot water taps), a buffer tank (connected to the heating distribution), expansion vessels and the ground collector. The ground collector consists of the ground loops (horizontal or boreholes) a ground manifold and connecting pipework. The heat pump is located internally, in a weather protected space.
As with all types of heat pumps, it is important to specify the right size (kW) heat pump. For this, a room by room heat loss assessment of the property is required. A heat pump produces less hot water than a boiler and the lower temperature it can operate at, the more efficient the system is. Therefore, the overall efficiency of the heating system requires heating distribution (underfloor heating, radiators or fan coil units) which can deliver comfortable room temperatures at low operating temperatures.
We are often asked about the difference between ground source and air source heat pumps. A ground source system is considerably more expensive than an air source one, but ground source is usually a better investment on the long term for the following reasons: