The UK ground temperature just below the surface remains around 10ºC throughout the year. Ground Source Heat Pumps access this thermal energy through loops of special pipe buried in horizontal trenches or through a vertically drilled borehole. Horizontal systems tend to be cheaper whilst vertical systems are generally more efficient. The amount of land available on the property is the principle factor in determining which system is used.
The water pumped through the systems pipes is lower than the ground in which it’s buried and so it is slightly warmed. This water is then transferred to a heat pump, which raises the temperature to around 50°C, ideal for space heating systems. Heat Pumps typically provide 4 units of energy for every 1 unit of electricity used and are considered to be a cost-effective, safe and viable alternative to heating with fossil fuels. The best applications for Heat Pumps are properties with a stable heat demand and under floor heating.
Heat pumps ground loops can be laid in the ground or in water such as rivers, lakes or ponds. As the installation of ground source heat pumps requires the excavation of trenches or deep boreholes it is important to consider in advance whether archaeological remains exist on the site and what the implications of the GSHP might be. Information on the location of scheduled monuments, listed buildings and other known archaeological sites is available from the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
Costs and Maintenance: Heat pumps have proved to be very reliable and can have a design life of 25 years or more. Costs vary due to a range of factors such as length of pipe, depth of borehole and geographic location. GSHPs generally require very little maintenance. A typical 8kW system costs £6,400-£9,600 plus the price of connection to the distribution system. This can vary with property and location.
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For more information please telephone 01874 624437.