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What are the installation options for a ground source heat pump (GSHP)?

House project on the meadow

There are three installation options with a GSHP; each one requiring slightly different considerations. These options are trenches, boreholes and installations next to large bodies of water, such as lakes.

A common requirement with all of them, however, is the need for internal space to install the buffer tank and water cylinder. A GSHP requires a network of coils to be buried underground or submerged in a body of water, where it can draw heat energy used by the heat pump to meet the energy needs of the building.

Option one: Trenches

An array of trenches around one to one and a half metres in depth are dug to bury the ground loop. If this is a part of a new build development, this can be factored in at early design stages. When installing as part of a refurbishment project, this can potentially be slightly disruptive to the surrounding area. This becomes a more complex consideration if there are, for example, landscaped gardens which cannot be disturbed.

Option two: Boreholes

Boreholes (a vertical alternative option to the horizontal trench) will only impact one part of the surrounding area, whilst allowing for the ground loop to be buried. They can require a bit more capital upfront to install but can potentially offer greater efficiencies due to the increased depth the ground loop is buried, meaning there can be more heat energy to draw on.

Option three: Bodies of water

Ground loops can also draw heat energy from nearby bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and canals. A key consideration with this type of install is approval from the Environmental Agency, which will be dependent on the type of ground loop that is installed and how the heat pump will draw and discharge the heat energy from its source.

GSHPs are an ideal solution for new build developments where groundwork and existing infrastructure can be taken into consideration during the early design stages. As there are different installation options, it is not just limited to new builds and can be used when refurbishing existing buildings, if the external and internal space is available.

For more information on the heat pump solutions offered by GDHV or to discuss a current project you are working on, please contact our team of experts who will be happy to assist you further. GDHV also offer a range of CIBSE accredited CPDs including topics focused around the design and specification of heat pumps, please contact us to make a booking.