Microgeneration Technologies

 

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) use heat from within the ground to provide energy efficient space heating. Using the same technology as fridges and air conditioners, ground source heat pumps produce 3 to 4 units of heat for every one unit of electricity used to transfer the heat into the home. In some cases, ground source heat pumps are used to heat water for storage in a water cylinder.


A variety of heat pumps are available for homeowners. In addition to ground source heat pumps, water source and air source heat pumps are also popular energy efficient choices for British householders.

How do ground source heat pumps work?

Ground source heat pumps can be divided into three elements: the ground loop, the heat pump, and the heat distribution system. Each of these parts plays an important role in heating and distributing warm air throughout a home or commercial building.

The ground loop is a series of pipes built into the ground below a home. These lengths of pipe are filled with a fluid produced using water and antifreeze, which is pumped around the pipe circuit in order to absorb heat from the ground.

The heat pump is comprised of three parts. The first is the evaporator, which extracts heat from the ground loop. The second is the compressor, which — like the compressor in an air conditioner or fridge — transfers refrigerant throughout the heat pump in order to achieve the temperature required for the heat distribution system. Finally, the condenser stores heat in a hot water cylinder which is required for the heat distribution system to operate properly.

Heat distributions systems vary in form. Radiators, underfloor heating systems, and even hot water cylinders are all different forms of heat distribution system.

How much does it cost to install a ground source heat pump?

Most ground source heat pumps cost between £6,000 and £12,000 to purchase and install. This cost can vary depending on the type of heat distribution system used to transfer the heat from the heat pump into the home.

In addition to the £6,000 to £12,000 installation costs, heat pumps require ongoing running costs. While the final cost of operating a ground source heat pump varies based on the householder’s needs, most ground source heat pumps are regarded as being significantly more energy efficient than standard heating systems.