Modern systems are very efficient. For each kilowatt of electricity used to run the heat pump, three to four
kilowatts of heat can be delivered to the building. The efficiency of a GSHP installation is very dependent on the
quality of the design and installation. The efficiency of the installation is improved by utilising solar recharge of the ground.
Yes, GSHP systems are common, particularly in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany.
The principles of ground source
heat pumps were first described by Lord Kelvin in the 1850s and continuous development since they were
first used commercially more than 50 years ago has greatly improved their efficiency and reliability. They now
provide a proven, cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.
A heat pump for a small building is about the size of a large fridge. More powerful heat pumps for commercial buildings
do not increase in size or price as much as they do in power output.
Yes. Reverse-cycle heat pumps deliver both heating and cooling very effectively. Cooling provided
by heat exchange with cold ground is inherently more efficient than air conditioning
which typically exchanges heat with hot air.
The heating cost in winter will also be reduced if you are using cooling in summer as the heat pump will
have access to warmer temperatures from the ground.
Yes. All new buildings are designed to meet Building Regulations and should be
able to benefit from a ground source heat pump. Building Regulations have been designed to conserve fuel, reduce
heat losses and ensure greater energy efficiency, in order to ensure that all modern properties need
less heating. For a well-insulated building the size of heat pump will be smaller, it will need smaller
ground loops and will therefore be less expensive. You should take advice from
an installer with commercial experience.
Yes. Ground source heat pump systems are ideally matched to modern warm temperature underfloor heating because
a heat pump transfers heat at a higher coefficient of performance if it delivers to a large warm
water circuit (like underfloor heating)
rather than a small high temperature circuit (like wall mounted radiators).
However, ground source systems can equally feed heat to air handling systems or to fan coil units.
Yes, but your building must be well insulated for you to gain most benefit. The cost of a system
is directly related to the heat losses, which will generally be higher in older buildings. Money spent
on upgrading insulation levels can save a considerable amount on the capital cost of a ground source
heat pump system.
Yes. This normally means the pump will be nearer to the pipe
connections to the ground loops, which often makes the whole system easier to connect.
Yes. In the UK, there is now a strong move towards alternative technologies that are
sustainable and environmentally much more acceptable. 40% of CO2 emissions
are derived from the heating and cooling of buildings. By using renewable sources of energy to heat buildings can
help to reduce these carbon emissions, particularly when compared to burning fossil fuels. The arguments
are even stronger where a building needs cooling in summer as well as heating in winter.
There are no hazardous gas emissions, no flammable oil, LPG or gas pipes, no flue or
chimney and no unsightly fuel tanks. GSHP systems have absolutely NO site emissions. There
is no need for safety checks and routine maintenace requirements are very low.
A ground source heat pump can be expcted to last over 20 years – longer than a combustion boiler – and
the ground heat exchanger should have a life of over 50 years.
Ground source systems are automated. Because they come with low maintenance, low running costs,
low noise and are out of sight, they are often referred to as "invisible heating systems".
A ground source heat pump system can offer very high
efficiency and low running costs. Oil-fired boilers cost considerably more to run. Even modern condensing gas boilers
are more expensive to run at current gas prices, with gas prices also set to
rise. All fossil fuel boilers need regular servicing to maintain efficiency and check safety.
The initial purchase costs of a ground source heat pump system are more than a
conventional oil or gas fired boiler. The initial capital expense is offset by lower running
costs, lower maintenance and low servicing requirement. There is also the security of knowledge that
the majority of your heating and cooling energy comes out of the ground and will not increase in price.
Yes. See Renewable Heat Incentive.