Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps use pipes which are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.

A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe – called a ground loop – which is buried in your garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year – even in the middle of winter.

The length of the ground loop depends on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need.

Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead (see below for more details).

During the summer, solar heat is stored in the soil. This is either directly absorbed as insulation or as heat from rain and the air from the near-surface layer of the soil. Using this energy for heating is a cost effective method. The highest yield can be obtained from soil with high water content.

The heat is extracted from the soil by means of buried plastic tubing. An environmentally-friendly, non-freezing emulsion of water and Glycol circulates in the tubing. The soil above the earth collector may not be sealed off under any circumstances, i.e. by buildings, asphalt or concrete.

Installation depth is approx. 20 cm below the local frost line.

In the lower subsoil of the so-called “near-surface geothermal layer” lies a heat source that can be utilized all year long, which has an almost constant temperature. It can be used for every possible building type, large or small, public or private. Depending on the region it is also referred to as, “vertical absorption, ground spit or ground lance”. It requires little space and the ground probe can be drilled on the smallest of plots. Therefore it is ideal for refurbishment or adaptation from a heating system fuelled by fossil fuels to the use of geothermal energy.

As with a surface collector a mixture of water and Glycol circulates in a closed circuit (similar to the cooling system of a car). Depending on the necessary size of the heat pump unit, a specialised company ascertains the depth and amount of bore holes in which the u-shaped plastic tubing is installed and pressed, in order to achieve good heat transfer.

With the extensive experience required to provide a competent design and installation service, J L Phillips work with our customers to meet their requirements and fulfill their Ground Source Heat Pump requirements.

To find out whether a Ground Source Heat Pump might be a good solution for you, Contact Us for more information.

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Further Information

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J L Phillips Renewable Energy Ltd, Fen Lane, Long Bennington, Newark, NG23 5ED