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A ground source heat pump, sometimes referred to as a ground-to-water heat pump, transfers heat from the ground outside your home to heat your radiators or underfloor heating. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for your hot taps and showers.

Thermal transfer fluid (TTF), a mixture of water and antifreeze (sometimes known as ‘brine’) flows around a loop of pipe, buried in your garden or outdoor space. This loop could either be a long or coiled pipe buried in trenches, or a long loop (called a ‘probe’) inserted into a borehole with a diameter or around 180mm.

Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid, which then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. This raises the temperature of the fluid and then transfers that heat to water.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)​

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) supports the decarbonisation of heat in buildings. It provides upfront funding to support the installation of heat pumps homes and small non-domestic buildings in England and Wales.

Acting on behalf of property owners, Caplor Energy can apply for:

  • £5000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
  • £6000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, including water source heat pumps

Over the next three years there is £450 million of grant funding available from 2022 to 2025.


Green Mortgages

The UK’s green mortgage market is showing signs that it is ready for lift off, with both Halifax and Barclays having already launched offers to incentivise homeowners into installing renewable technologies, including ground source heat pumps. Green mortgage products come in a variety of different forms, but all aim to incentivise homeowners to invest in improving the energy efficiency of their properties.

More details can be found on our blog here: here

Benefits of Ground Source Heat Pumps

Frequently Asked Questions

A Ground Source Heat Pump can produce 3 to 4 kilowatts (kW) of heat for every 1 kW of electricity it consumes. Using freely available heat energy from the ground, it generally achieves higher efficiency than any other heating system.  By creating 3 to 4 times the amount of energy it consumes.  A heat pump can reduce a property’s heating costs by around two-thirds compared to direct electric heating.

A system of pipes is buried in trenches typically 1.2m deep and 1.2m wide. The pipe systems used comprise of ‘slinky pipes’ which are coiled pipes installed  horizontally and laid along the bottom of the trench. Trenches are generally spaced 5m apart to enable the natural replenishment of energy in the ground. Slinky pipes do not reduce the amount of area required, but they do reduce the the length of trenches required by a factor of around 5. Every 1m of trench contains around 5m of slinky pipe.

Alternatively, straight pipes can be used as an alternative to slinkies, but require more trench work to achieve the same energy harvest.

The exact calculation depends on ground conditions, but approximately for every 60m of pipe 1 kilowatt of energy can be typically absorbed from the ground.

If space is a challenge, a borehole to fit a vertical ground array can be used. In a constrained garden space, a borehole will typically need 150mm width and are typically drilled to a depth of 60m to 200m. Generally boreholes are used for district heating systems for apartment blocks, housing projects or a holiday lodge complex.

There may be instances where the fabric of the building can be improved to achieve the highest levels of efficiency from the heat pump. For example where the property can be updated with the basic thermal improvements i.e. cavity wall installation, loft insulation and double glazing this should be considered if not already installed.

The air source heat pump then needs to be able to meet the maximum heat demand of the property under its maximum (coldest) conditions. Accredited Installers for the domestic market and consultants for the commercial properties can all assist with heat loss calculations to ensure the heat pump matches the building load.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a Ground Source Heat pump will reduce CO2 emissions per year by between 3t to 4.7t compared to an oil system, 2.8t to 4.5t compared to LPG and 2.1t to 3.3t compared to a gas fired heating and hot water system.

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