Ground and Air Source Heat Pump Installation


Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps

Dragon Renewables has experience gained since 2004 of scoping, planning and installing Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pump heating solutions.

  • Save money on your heating bills
  • Use a sustainable and renewable fuel source.

Heat pump systems are a great replacement for any fossil fuelled water based heating and hot water system. These systems are most suitable for underfloor heating systems (can also produce higher temperature water for radiators but efficiency falls away as the temperature rises.)

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) rely on a heat collector which is laid below the ground surface either as a series of coils (a “slinky”) in a trench/trenches or in a lake/large body of water or a bore hole. GSHP’s have a higher rate of heat output as the ground is at a steady temperature of around 10°C (compared to an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) which collects it’s heat from the outside air.)

  • Achieves Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes with no additional measures and can achieve higher when used in conjunction with other improvements
  • Improves energy use leading to lower running costs and CO2 emissions
  • Qualifies for the current Renewable Heating Premium Payments (RHPP) and upcoming renewable heating incentives planned by the Government
  • 5% VAT rating on capital and install costs
  • Self-contained outdoor unit only requiring water and electric connections
  • No gas supply, flues or ventilation required, therefore poses no carbon monoxide risk
  • Low noise levels – Ecodan has achieved the Noise Abatement Society’s Quiet Mark
  • MCS approved

You should consider the following when choosing a Heat Pump heating system;

  • Budget
  • Land available / bore hole(s)
  • Type of existing heat emitters
  • Hot water requirements

Choosing The Right Type of Heat Pump 

Air Source Heat Pumps

Takes heat from the outside air 

Needs large hot water cylinder with minimum 3m² heat exchanger (coil) 

Electricity single phase 240V or three phase415V . 

Heat emmittersIdeally Under floor heating or oversized radiators 

Max heat load single phase 14kW 

Cost and efficiency COP 2.87

Advantages & Disadvantages

ASHP’s collect heat from the air and GSHP collect heat from the ground. Both systems are less costly than direct electric heating and less smelly than oil systems. As both systems run on electricity you don’t have to remember to order fuel (as long as you pay your bill on time). A well installed system will have a very low maintenance cost. 

Heat pumps run at two different temperatures one for heating 40°C and the other for hot water 55°C or in some models 60°C. Heat pumps work at their most efficient when running at the lower temperature when they use the least electricity for the most heat output. When heating hot water at a higher temperature they run at between 1.8 to 2.7 :1 ratio of electricity consumed to heat generated this is better that running an immersion heater (ratio 1:1). For space heating running at the lower temperature (40°C) the efficiency is better at between 3 to 4:1, 1kWh of electricity giving usually 3.7kWh of heat.

The advantages of ASHP over carbon-based heating systems are they can use “green” electricity and thus have a lower carbon foot print than a gas or oil boiler. The newest Mitsubishi machines are very quiet 58dB and provide a steady source of both heating and hot water. Fitting an ASHP to a new build is straight forward as the level of insulation will be good and the machine as a result small and affordable. Fitting to an older property can be more difficult as the radiators will need re-sizing and perhaps the pipes will also need enlarging. If the older property has its insulation upgraded, External wall insulation, 300mm of loft insulation, and new triple glazed windows it may well be unnecessary to change any of the radiators. ASHP’s are cheaper than GSHP’s and can be quicker and less of an upheaval to install. They are fitted as a single unit outside (but very close 3-400mm) to the property. They look like an air conditioning unit.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Takes heat from the ground via a collector 

Needs large hot water cylinder with minimum 3m² heat exchanger (coil) 

Small hot water cylinder heated by immersion heater or another fuel boiler 

Electricity single phase 240V or three phase415V

Heat emitters ideally Under Floor Heating or oversized Radiators 

Some GSHP’s need LPG or Biomass for hot water 

Max heat load single phase single unit 24kWn/a

Cost and efficiency- COP 4.0

Advantages & Disadvantages

Ground south heat pumps come in a number of forms the most common are the ones using ground collectors. The machines are more expensive the ASHP and are nearly always placed within the building.

The heat is collected from the ground either from trenches 1.2m deep or from bore holes 50m deep. They are always more efficient than ASHP as the collectors are in the ground the ground temperature varies a lot less than the air temperature. This allows the GSHP to provide more heat for less power. There is no outdoor unit visible and no external sound. The GSHP costs more to install as it needs to collect heat from the ground, this can be in the form of ground loops or “slinkies” in trenches 50m long by 1.2m wide by 1.2m deep or single trenches 1.2m deep by 150m long. All collectors necessitate the use of a ground works team to install them. GSHP’s can also collect heat in two ways from bore holes either a closed loop grouted into a borehole or an open loop where a pump is located at the base of the bore hole and water is pumped up and through a heat exchanger and then discharged down another bore hole. There are many variations available on these themes dependent on the individual project requirements and budgets.

RHI (renewable heat incentive) payments are available for both ASHP and GSHP systems. The payments help to cover the cost of installation for both system types. The GSHP payments can be substantial as the cost of installation is higher than that of AHSP’s. These payments are applied for under the MCS scheme and are paid (on successful application) quarterly for 7 years.

Advice and Support Services

  • We will help you to choose the right renewable heating system for your property, budget and space.
  • We can help you decide between ASHP and GSHP systems and offer advice on the relative costs of each system and the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
  • We can advise you on the space requirements for each system including the ground loops
  • We will be able to give you a guide on the annual running costs.
  • We can inform you of the latest Government support schemes.
  • We provide a free telephone interview service to assess your requirements. If after this interview we have reached a point where a site survey is necessary we will visit you to finalise the choice of renewable heating /hot water system, double check space available, Heat pump options and the connections to the existing or future heating system. We charge an hourly rate +VAT including travel time for site visits.

Installation Services

  • We will move your appliance into its chosen place from the delivery lorry.
  • We will plumb in the appliance.
  • We can insulate all our pipe work (after testing).
  • We will order and assemble the required ground loop collectors for your new Ground Source Heat pump.
  • We will install the Ground loops in trenching which has been dug to our specification by your contractors
  • We can install your underfloor heating system and commission it in conjunction with the Heat pump.
  • We can organise our plumbing partners to install a full heating system to run alongside our Heat pump installation.
  • We will connect up the chosen electrical control system and ensure that it is all working at commissioning.

Maintenance Services

  • We aim to provide support for your newly installed system (via telephone) seven days a week between 7.30am and 9pm. If there is a problem with the system that we have installed or a fault of our making within the first 12 months we will provide a site visit free of charge.
  • We can service your appliance annually and supply and order any necessary parts other than those already covered by warranty (charged on a cost-plus basis).
  • Annual services will be charged at an hourly rate per man, including travel time plus disposables + VAT

Why Choose Us?

Dragon Renewables is a small family-run business dedicated to providing the most appropriate renewable heat systems for your home or business.

  • We supply a balanced and fair assessment of your requirements
  • We supply a range of solutions and technologies that we constantly review and update and for which we are accredited under the Micro Certification Scheme

Other services we offer include:

  • Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pump Installation
  • Maintenance services available
  • Qualified and experienced Renewables Plumbing, Heating and Electrical experts.

More Info?

For more information, or to arrange a free telephone interview about your requirements, please contact Jonathan Cooke today

Saffron Walden (01799) 598 086

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