What do you need to consider with a ground source heat pump (GSHP)?

There are three key considerations when specifying a ground source heat pump (GSHP); installation, energy efficiency and aesthetics.

Installation considerations for a ground source heat pump

To install a GSHP there is a requirement for external space to bury a ground loop network and internal space to create a plant room to house a buffer tank and water cylinder. The ground loop can be submerged in a couple of ways depending on the total space available, the extent to which the landscape can be disrupted and what capital is in the budget.

The most cost-effective way is in using various trenches arranged in a uniform manner across an area at around one to one and a half metres in depth, however if you have landscaped gardens or less space available then boreholes are the preferred option. Boreholes require slightly larger financial outlay upfront but only one geographical area is impacted to install the ground loop.

Another option would be to draw energy from bodies of water such as lakes, streams and rivers. However further consideration may be required if the ground loop is to be submerged in main bodies of water, which in some cases means prior permission from the Environment Agency will be needed.

Energy efficiency considerations for a ground source heat pump

If there is sufficient internal and external space, then a GSHP can potentially offer a more consistent all year-round seasonal efficiency. This is due to the heat that is naturally stored in the earth from solar energy absorbed by the ground which provides a constant temperature.

This means there is more heat energy available to be absorbed by the ground loop which is transferred to the refrigeration cycle. The higher the ground temperature the less work the compressor has to do raise the pressure/condensing temperature to the heating system which in turn creates a more efficient heat pump system. The same can be said about the flow temperature to the building – the lower the flow temperature the less the compressor has to work.

Aesthetics considerations for a ground source heat pump

GSHPs can be more aesthetically pleasing as everything is installed out of the way, with the potential to leave no externally visible parts, which also reduces external noise levels.

To find out more about the ground source heat pump solutions GDHV offer, or to discuss a specific project in more detail, contact our team of experts to be put in contact with your regional specialist.

GDHV also offer various CIBSE accredited CPDs for advice on heat pump specification; visit our CPD page to make your booking.