How to Install a Ground Source Heat Pump
What is a Ground Source Heat Pump?
A ground source heat pump (GSHP) is an eco-friendly system used to provide hot water for central heating. It can be used to pump water heated by the warmth from the ground in winter and for cooling systems to pump heat into the ground during the summer via a number of pipes buried in the garden. The heat obtained can be used for under floor, radiator based or warm air heating systems and to provide hot water.
The moderate temperature of the ground at a depth of twenty feet, depending on the latitude, is almost constant between fifty and sixty degrees and can be used to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. A GSHP will also reduce the costs of this type of system and can be used alongside solar heating to provide even more efficiency. Having this type of system fitted can ensure that the carbon emissions from your home are reduced while the Renewable Heat Incentive run by the government can obtain you an extra income.
The main component of the pump is the core of refrigerant which, when pumped through a ground loop, will transfer the heat from or to the ground. The heat pump can be used continually through the year due to the constant temperature below ground.
How is it Installed?
To install a heat pump, it is necessary to dig trenches that are below the frost line so that ground frost cannot have any effect on the hot water flow. The trench should be five feet deep if you are laying pipes horizontally or three hundred and thirty feet if you have a small garden and have to place your pipes vertically.
Once the trench has been dug, it is necessary to create a ground loop to suit the size of the house to be heated based on the area of land available. It is most beneficial to have a loop which is the longest you can have to fit the ground while ensuring that it still remains affordable. The loop should then be buried in the trench in a coil or repeating S shape, ensuring that it covers the largest amount of ground available so that the maximum heat is drawn from the surrounding land.
It is then necessary to cover the pipes with sand to ensure that they are protected from any stones that may be in the backfill. The trench should then be refilled with the earth that was dug out of the trench. This part of the installation is best carried out by a professional to ensure it has been done correctly.
Once the ground loop is complete, a heat pump which includes a heat exchanger and compressor should be attached and then placed into a lockable box adjacent to the main water supply. A pipe for cold water should then be put into the ground loop with a hot water pipe running from it to transfer the warm water through the pump and into a hot water storage cylinder placed within the property. The loop then needs to be connected to a ground collector which ensures the heat pump can transfer the water into the house.