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GSHP Installation: What to expect?

What should you expect with a heat pump installation - we take a closer look

GSHP or ground source heat pump installation has become incredibly popular in recent times. Thanks to the renewable heat incentive, the onus on green energy has become far stronger in the UK. The UK government is pushing commercial and domestic customers to consider heat pump installers and nothing speaks as strongly as financial gain.

GSHP - Domestic and Commercial Heat Pump Installation

GSHP provides low grade heat that’s absorbed from the ground at a depth of around 5m. At this depth temperatures of around 8-12 Celsius tend to be the norm. It’s worth noting that for every 20m further the temperature becomes more constant and at further depths of 33m the temperature increases by 1 degree Celsius. Most GSHPs are buried in horizontal spaces, however with a borehole a GSHP may be added 100m below the ground. In this case a working fluid of brine is utilised. Heat is created through the use of a refrigeration vapour compression cycle. This system transforms low grade heat into higher temperature heat that can be used for heating a home. These are ideal for domestic or commercial heat pumps.

 

Feasibility of Domestic and Commercial Ground Source Heat Pumps

A GSHP system has to undergo a number of stages to ensure its feasibly. This will be completed by your heat pump installer.

The Site for the GSHPs

This will require the heat pump installers to evaluate the ground conditions to determine whether the length of the ground loops or the hole required for boring. It will also take account of the building itself and consider the cooling and heating demands of the space. Other factors such as whether there will be underfloor heating should also be considered.

Retro-fitting GSHPs

A GSHP is suitable for a variety of buildings. However, to make the very most of the investment, most heat pump installers will advise you to upgrade the building prior to the GSHP being installed. This will reduce the amount of space heating required and will mean that less electricity is needed to power the motor used in the ground source heat pump. This will in turn maximise the savings of CO2 emissions.

Installation of a Heat Pump

The heat pump installer will also consider the amount of disruption for installation as a part of the whole process. This will look at the level of excavation required as a part of the development as a whole.

Costs of Heat Pump Installation

An installer of heat pumps will also consider the costs of the pump. There are different prices for a horizontal and a vertical loop pump, with the latter costing more as a borehole has to be created.

Planning Permission and Ground Source Heat Pumps

In the case of a domestic heat pump the planning laws fall under Permitted Development. This means that it’s possible to make small changes without the need for planning permission. There are some changes to this in the case of listing buildings and some other scenarios. In the case of a commercial heat pump – the Local Planning Authority may need to provide permission. In the case of a large commercial heat pump requirement, it’s a good idea to consider an aquifer energy system. So, you should have a clearer idea of what to expect with a heat pump installer during a Ground Source Heat Pump installation.    

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