A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe - called a ground loop - which is buried in the garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into this fluid and is pumped through a heat exchanger in the heat pump.
Low grade heat passes through the heat pump compressor and is concentrated into a higher temperature useful heat capable of heating water for the heating and hot water circuits of the house.
An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can extract heat from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as minus 15° C.
Heat from the air is absorbed into a fluid which is pumped through a heat exchanger in the heat pump. Low grade heat is then extracted by the refrigeration system and, after passing through the heat pump compressor, is concentrated into a higher temperature useful heat capable of heating water for the heating and hot water circuits of the building.
Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run and may need some additional energy to maintain temperatures in poorly insulated buildings.
Both these forms of renewable energy are within the scope of proposed “Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This is a Government scheme designed to provide financial support that encourages individuals, communities and businesses to switch from using fossil fuel for heating, to renewables such as ground and air source heat pumps. The Government is currently consulting on the design of the incentive which they are proposing to introduce in April 2011.
Wessex is MCS approved to install both types of system and we only use our own surveyors, heating engineers and electricians. Please visit our “Case Studies” section for more detail.