Ground Source Heat Pumps
NIBE Energy Systems is the market leader for domestic heating products in the Nordic countries, Poland and the Czech Republic. NIBE is a Swedish company with a tradition dating back many years of manufacturing products for both household and commercial use. Operations are pursued through three different business areas with more than 10,000 employees in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. NIBE really are one of the most bankable heat pump manufacturers in the world!
Kensa Heat Pumps manufactures the UK’s widest range of ground source heat pumps, and is the confirmed number one manufacturer and supplier in the UK.
Combining engineering ingenuity and fifteen years of ground source expertise, every heat pump in the Kensa range has been designed and tested to exacting standards for optimum efficiency and ease of use. Suitable for use with all heating and cooling specifications across domestic and commercial retrofit and new build applications, Kensa’s ground source heat pumps can significantly reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions, whilst generating a generous income through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) use pipes which are buried in the ground to extract heat from the ground. A ground source heat pump circulates fluid (brine) around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is laid in the ground or through a large body of water. Heat from the ground or water is absorbed into the fluid and has it's temparature raised by a highly efficient thermodynamic process within the heat pump. The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year.
The length of the loop depends on the size of the property and the amount of heat you require. 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. Normally the loop is laid flat or coiled in trenches just over a metre deep, but if there is not enough space a borehole can be dug to a depth of up to 100 metres for a typical domestic home. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the ground, the air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.
- Lower your fuel bills, especially if you replace conventional electric/oil heating
- Provide you with income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
- Lower home carbon emissions
- No fuel deliveries needed
- Minimal maintenance required
To tell if a ground source heat pump is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider:
- Is your property suitable for a ground loop? It doesn't have to be particularly big, but the ground needs to be suitable for digging a trench or a borehole and accessible to digging machinery.
- What fuel will you be replacing? The system will pay for itself very quickly if it's replacing an electricity, oil, coal, or bottled gas heating system. Heat pumps may not be the best option for homes using mains gas but the return on investments can still be very good.
- What type of heating system will you use? Ground source heat pumps can perform better with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than with radiator-based systems because of the lower water temperatures required.
- Is the system intended for a new development? Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system.
- Will they work with my existing radiators? Ground source heat pumps can be used to power the majority of heating systems, but they work particularly efficiently when partnered with larger heating surfaces such as underfloor heating and radiators with large surface areas.
How much you can save will depend on what system you use now, as well as what you are replacing it with. Your savings will be affected by:
- Your heat distribution system. Underfloor heating can be more efficient than radiators because the water doesn't need to be so hot. If underfloor heating isn't possible, use the largest radiators you can.
- Zero fuel costs. The heat pump heats your property without needing any oil, gas, coal or other fossil fuel. Unless you have surpus electricity (e.g. from a solar panel PV system) then your electricity bill will rise sightly as the thermodynamic process within the heat pump is powered by electricity. Talk to us today about combining a ground source heat pump with a solar PV system so the elecricity required to power the heat pump is free too!
- Your old heating system. If your have an old heating system it is likely to be very inefficient, so replacing it with a new heat pump system will almost certainly lower your running costs.
- Efficiency. The efficiency of a heat pump is based on the Coefficient of Performance (COP). A quality heat pump should achieve a COP of 1:4. This means that for every 1kWh of electricity used to power the heat pump, you'll generate 4kWh of heat.
RHI cash payments are made quarterly over 7 or 20 years, depending on which contract you enter into. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors - including the technology you install, the latest tariffs available for each technology and - in some cases - metering. The RHI scheme varies depending on whether the installation is domestic or commercial.
Ofgem will pay you generous payments quarterly for seven years. Normally the heat required to heat the property will be deemed (estimated) and payments will be based on this amount. Renewable heat generated by heat pumps will be based on an estimate of the heat demand from an EPC combined with an estimate of the heat pump's efficiency.
The current RHI payments for Ground Source Heat Pumps are:
|Ground Source Heat Pump Applications||Tariff|
(p/kWh renewable heat)
|Application Submitted between 1st January 2017 and 31st March 2017 incl.)||19.55|
The commercial RHI provides a subsidy, payable for 20 years, to eligible, non-domestic renewable heat generators. This includes for example small businesses, hospitals and schools as well as district heating schemes such as where one boiler serves multiple homes. Eligible usage of the heat includes usage in an enclosed building for heating a space, heating water, or carrying out a process (eg. heating and cooling in a brewery).
Payments for installations are calculated by multiplying the applicable tariff(s) by the amount of heat generated (using an RHI compliant heat meter) in the relevant quarterly period. There are two tariff tiers which apply to the commercial RHI. The tier 1 tariff is paid per kWh of heat produced up to 15% of full rated, annual capacity and the tier 2 tariff is paid on the remaining 85% of total heat output.
The current RHI payments for Commercial Ground Source Heat Pumps are;
|Tariff Name||Eligible Technology||Eligible Sizes||Tariffs|
|Water/Ground Source Heat Pumps||Ground Source Heat Pumps & Water Source Heat Pumps||All Capacities, Tier 1||8.95|
|All Capacities, Tier 2||2.67|
Once you are receiving domestic RHI payments, the rate is index linked to CPI (Consumer Price Index). The RHI scheme uses a 'degression' system designed to manage the scheme budget available for the domestic RHI. From time to time, the tariff for a technology will be reduced (for new applicants only) if the total amount being claimed in total for that technology reaches a certain level. Anyone who is already claiming the RHI will not have their tariffs reduced through degression!
Taking into account the expected bill savings and RHI payments Ground Source Heat Pumps really are a fantastic investment. With payback periods ranging from 5-10 years, your ROI could easily be in the region of 10-20%/annum. If you also have a solar PV system installed or are considering installing a system then these figures will look even better, as you won’t need to pay for the electricity you require to drive your heat pump. Solar PV and Heat Pumps really are a match made in heaven! Geo Green Power specialise in Renewable Energy and our MCS accredited engineers will be sure to find the solution that suits you. If you’d like to arrange an on-site survey or even if you just fancy learning more please feel free to contact us. We’d be delighted to hear from you! Alternatively, you cvan visit Geo Green Group where they focus on renewable heat, and they'll be happy to help!
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