R A Brown Heating Services are experts in installing ground source heat pumps. If you are considering a ground source heat pump (GSHP) to provide heating for your property, we are proud to be recognised nationally for our expertise as a heat pump installer across Norfolk & North Suffolk.
What is a ground source heat pump?
A ground source heat pump is a heating system that uses solar energy stored in the ground to heat up homes. GSHPs are more efficient than air source heat pumps as they rely on the relatively constant heat of the soil a few feet below the surface. However, they are not suitable for all properties and situations.
Which properties are best suited to ground source heat pump installation?
Ground source heat pumps are a particularly appealing option for many Norfolk and North Suffolk homes as they are the perfect solution for rural properties. According to the Non-gas map, 46% of properties in Norfolk and 41% of properties in Suffolk have no access to mains gas. For this reason, heat pumps are an increasingly attractive alternative to oil or direct electrical heating.
GSHPs are ideally suited to barn conversions, many new-build properties or country home renovation projects with suitable clear land.
How a ground source heat pump will save you money:
A ground source heat pump is very energy-efficient. A new conventional oil system works at 90% efficiency, whereas a GSHP works between 400 – 500% efficiency. Therefore, a GSHP system delivers significant annual savings depending on which conventional system you are moving from. Switching from LPG or direct electric will see the highest financial savings, closely followed by oil.
Frequently asked questions about Ground Source Heat Pumps
How do Ground Source Heat Pumps work?
A GSHP uses solar energy naturally stored in the ground. With a stable temperature of between 8 – 12 degrees throughout the year it is a perfect environment to extract energy from. The energy collected from either the ground or water source via collector pipes is converted into useable heat via refrigerant gases and a compressor. This useable heat is used to heat your home in the same way as a conventional boiler sends heat to the radiators, underfloor heating or hot water cylinder so it is ready whenever it is needed.
How much does a Ground Source Heat Pump installation cost?
An example of a typical 4 bedroom property with 12 radiators, with a ground source heat pump installation will cost in the region of £32k – £35k (with horizontal ground collector) £50k – £55k (with boreholes)
If you are eligible, you could expect to receive government grant of £7,500 through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
It is estimated you would benefit from fuel savings each year, depending on your current electricity provider unit rates.
The costs involved in installing a system include the following:
- Removal of the existing system.
- Custom design of a heating system for your property.
- Trenching for horizontal ground collector or drilling for boreholes.
- Installation of the ground source heat pump (unit fitted in a pump room).
- Installation of a new cylinder that has an increased size primary coil fitted.
- Installation of a buffer vessel (another cylinder for the heating system fluid).
- Replacement of the radiators with new, larger radiators.
- Replacement of the current heating controls.
- Electrical wiring of the new system. Often a new supply will need to be run from the consumer unit to the outdoor air source heat pump.
- Plumbing required to adapt the old heating and hot water systems to the new heat pump and radiators.
- Registration and certification for Microgeneration Certification Scheme so that you will be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
How much space do I need for the Ground Source Heat Pump collector?
For a horizontal collector you will need to install pipes 1m apart and 1.2m deep in the ground. The maximum length for a loop of pipe will be 400m but depending on the size of the heat pump required you may require 2 or more ground loops. The average system will require between 600 and 1200 square metres of land. This land must be clear of trees and buildings.
How much does a Ground Source Heat pump cost to run?
Ground source heat pumps are effectively the cheapest form of heating to run. They can be 400 – 500% efficient or more.
A ground source heat pump generates 4-5 times the energy it consumes. This means that for every 1kw of electricity that you pay for, a GSHP can produce 4-5kw of heat for your home.
Can you retrofit a Ground Source Heat Pump into a property?
Yes, we can fit a ground source heat pump to most properties, so long as there is enough land for the pipework to be laid outside for the collector or enough area of land to drill boreholes. As an example for a 4 bedroom property with 12 radiators, you would likely need 600sq metres of land or 2 x 150 metre boreholes.
Do I need a 3-phase electrical supply to run a Ground Source Heat Pump?
For ground source heat pumps that are 16kw or above, a 3-phase electrical supply will generally be required.