How does a Heat Pump work?
There are two mains versions of a heat pump, and air source heat pump (ASHP) and ground source heat pump (GSHP) each with their own benefits that will suit every individuals needs.
Ultimately the systems themselves are very similar.
The heat pump will extract heat from either the air or ground surrounding it. This heat will be absorbed into a fluid called a refrigerant, which compresses and then increases the temperature, allowing you to heat your home and water.
Air Source Heat Pump
An air source heat pump will sit outside the house, similar to an air conditioning unit. Whilst it is slightly less efficient than a ground source heat pump, an indicative cost for a large 4 bed home, the cost could be in the region of around £15,000.
An ASHP will have a shorter installation time due to it being installed above ground, and will last an average of 20 years. One of the mains concerns with an ASHP is the level of noise it produces, but with the significant progress over recent years it runs almost silently!
Ground Source Heat Pump
ASHP or GSHP?
There are many benefits to both, however there are more specific bonuses with a GSHP. Both types of GSHP will last considerably longer than an ASHP, potentially up to hundreds of years! A long term investment that is truly worth considering.
Whilst an ASHP takes up very limited space, a GSHP will require a larger area of ground to be buried underneath. But the benefits that bring are substantial, with less fluctuations in the temperature of the ground, it will maintain a consistent level all year round. It will remain out of sight and sound once installed, you won't know it's there until you see your energy bills!
Horizontal Heat Pump
Horizontal Heat pumps are exactly as they sound! They require a larger area of space outside than the ASHP, and use cables dug into the ground, just below the surface. Comparatively at £30,000 for a large house they are a larger investment than the ASHP but have zero noise or visual impairment!
Vertical Heat Pump
A Vertical Heat pump is the most effective method of heat pump, in which boar holes are drilled down around 100 meters to extract the heat required. Comparatively it would be around £50,000 to cover a similarly large house and will last much longer. Less space is required and it covers a larger area to pull more heat from lower in the ground where the temperatures are further stabilised! The other benefit of vertical heat pumps is that much larger systems can be installed to power the likes of a large country estate.
Benefits of a Heat Pump
To run the compressor and pump, electricity is required. It produces more energy than it takes to run and can easily be fueled by Solar PV to bring carbon emissions to zero!
No longer reliant on the ever changing prices of gas or oil!
Both ASHP and GSHP work in temperatures as low as -15 degree, to provide heating and hot water all year round, with zero reliance on oil or gas to provide heat.
Until March 2022 all Heat Pumps are viable for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, a government backed initiative that offers a quarterly financial rewards.
Heat Pump Case Studies
The Barn - Bath
The Residential client installed a 16kW ASHP remaining out of sight and running almost silently at the back of the house. The unit is powered by 12kW of Solar PV and a Tesla Powerwall enabling the property to be carbon neutral and without bills on both its power and heat requirements across the year.
Manor Barn - Somerset
This client installed 2 ASHP on the main barn and outbuildings to move completely away from oil, onto an entirely renewable heating source. Combined with the installation of solar panels and Tesla Powerwall, this has allowed the client to bring down energy bills and run almost entirely from renewable sources.