What is a ground floor heat pump?
A ground floor heat pump, also known as a ground source heat pump, is a regenerative heating system that uses underground pipes to extract low-temperature solar energy stored in the ground or water and compress that energy into higher temperatures. Ground source heat pumps provide 100% of the building's heating and hot water year-round
Are ground source heat pumps more efficient than air source heat pumps?
Yes, ground source heat pumps are more efficient than air source heat pumps. Ground temperatures in the UK typically stay between 8°C - 12°C, while winter temperatures, especially in the morning and evening when heating is needed, are usually much cooler. During these times, it is more efficient to extract heat from the ground than from the air.
How much is a ground source heat pump?
Ground source heat pumps typically cost between £3,500 and £6,000. Installation costs are generally higher than alternative heating systems, but when compared over the product life cycle, ground source heat pumps are more cost-effective and carbon-efficient than alternative heating systems.
What is a ground source heat pump?
This is our Vertical series. It is 114.5 cm high and is designed to be placed in a utility room or kitchen cabinet. It will work on most large single properties and won't make any more noise than your refrigerator.
Ideal for smaller properties, the Horizontal collection can be placed under cabinets or under stairs, making it ideal for apartments and small homes. It is 55.5 cm tall.
How does a ground source heat pump work?
Heat flows naturally from warm to cool places. Ground source heat pumps take advantage of these physical properties by circulating a cold fluid through a surface array of pipes in the ground or in the water. It absorbs low-grade ambient energy from external heat sources such as rocks, soil, lakes and streams.
The ground source heat pump then compresses and condenses this free energy to a higher temperature and transmits it to the property's heating and hot water systems.
After the energy absorbed at the surface is given to the heat pump, the fluid continues to circulate back to the underwater pipe, where the cycle starts all over again.
How the heat pump works
1. The cold water antifreeze mixture is pumped to the ground through a series of energy absorbing pipes called a ground array. The circulating array's antifreeze mix is continuously heated by the low-grade heat from the ground as heat naturally flows from warmer to cooler locations.
2. After the temperature rises, the antifreeze mixture is sent to a heat exchanger called an evaporator.
3. Inside the secondary seal side of the evaporator heat exchanger there is a refrigerant that acts as a heat transfer fluid. When the water antifreeze mixture enters the evaporator, the energy absorbed from the ground is transferred to the refrigerant, which begins to boil and turn into a gas.
The refrigerant never physically mixes with the water antifreeze mixture. They are separated like a sandwich by the plates of the heat exchanger that allow heat transfer.
4. Then this gas is sent to the compressor. The pressure of the refrigerant gas in the compressor rises, causing the gas temperature to rise.
5. The hot refrigerant gas then flows into a second heat exchanger called the condenser, which has an identical set of heat transfer plates.
6. The condenser provides enough hot water to meet the hot water needs of the space heating system and the property. After transferring heat, the refrigerant gas returns to liquid.
7. The liquid is then passed through an expansion valve at the end of the cycle to reduce its pressure and temperature, ready to restart the cycle.
What are the benefits of a ground source heat pump?
1. Eligibility for Incentive Returns
Heat pumps play an important role in achieving net zero emissions targets. To encourage the adoption of renewable heating, domestic projects using Micro Generation Certification Scheme (MCS) approved ground source installations receive a seven-year revenue incentive through the domestic RHI.
2. Low carbon emissions and improved air quality
Ground source heat pumps are highly efficient and emit no emissions, making them a low-carbon alternative to systems that burn fossil fuels.
According to statistics, 17,000 premature deaths could be prevented each year by reducing mortality and disease associated with poor air quality. Ground source heat pumps do not produce particulates, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) or oxides of sulfur (SOx) - all of which contribute to air pollution.
It doesn't stop there. The more renewable energy sources like solar and wind contribute to the grid, the lower the carbon content of electricity. This means that a fraction of the electricity consumed by ground source heat pumps will become less and less over the next few years.
3. Efficient and affordable heating
You can save around 30-50% on your heating bill compared to oil or LPG.
Ground source heat pumps are powered by electricity and can provide 3 to 4 kW of renewable energy for every 1 kW of electricity consumed. This efficiency makes ground source heat pumps the most energy-efficient heating technology, resulting in lower energy bills and lower carbon emissions.
4. Release heat from the ground
From rivers to rocks, ground source heat pumps absorb solar energy from a variety of natural resources. Unlike fossil fuels, ground source heat pumps offer a modern, clean and sustainable way to harness natural energy from underground. You can even draw energy from your own back garden.
5. Install on your property
A ground source heat pump uses heat from outside your property. However, the heat pump itself is safely installed within the property - just like a conventional boiler. No louder than kitchen appliances like dishwashers, heat pumps are easy to install in a fume hood or kitchen cabinet.
6. A practical and safe alternative to fossil fuels
Ground source heat pumps have no annual maintenance requirements, require minimal maintenance, and eliminate the hassle of fuel delivery.
Compared to traditional gas boiler, oil or LPG systems, ground source systems are less susceptible to rising fuel prices or threats to energy security. They also use a non-combustible fuel source, so there is no fire risk.
7. Smart heating
When combined with smart controls, a ground source heat pump can save you even more on your heating bills. Smart Heating uses attribute physics and preferences to create the heating schedule you want. It can take into account the cheapest time to use electricity – for example, running a heat pump when grid demand, price and carbon are lowest.
8. Applicable to various properties and projects
Heat pumps can be installed in any building, from new to old, from urban to rural, challenging the misconception that they only apply to new buildings.
Both new and existing properties gain the low carbon and affordable benefits of ground source heat pumps. Boats, businesses, schools, towers, vacation homes, barn conversions, listed homes—you name it, a ground source heat pump can almost certainly heat it.
9. Cooler in summer
A ground source heat pump can generally provide active or passive cooling for any property. Whether passively transferring the raw temperature of the ground to a building, or actively circulating cooling water, cooling is a useful feature for commercial applications or summer homes.
10. Compatible with other renewable technologies
Ground source heat pumps can be used with other forms of renewable technologies or waste heat sources to further increase efficiency, reduce costs and be part of a larger solution. How about using the waste heat from the data center and providing cooling at the same time, or using your own on-site generation of excess electricity?
To make your heating 100% renewable, the heat pump can be powered by on-site solar and wind energy for self-sufficiency. They can even absorb energy from sources like wastewater -- as long as it's deep enough.
What are the disadvantages of ground source heat pumps?
The main disadvantage of installing a ground source heating system is the initial setup cost. These are aided by various funding options.
Energy - as long as it's deep enough.
Can a ground source heat pump provide hot water?
Yes, ground source heat pumps are capable of providing hot water up to 60°C.
The maximum output temperature of a heat pump depends on many factors, including flow through the domestic hot water cylinder coil and floor temperature.
1. Is the heat pump noisy?
Ground source heat pumps - especially the smaller ones - are quiet. They are often confused with air source heat pumps, which tend to run very loud outside due to their fans.
Different sizes of heat pump noise will vary. However, due to the innovative insulation and advanced design of the Leomon heat pump, noise is not a common problem. In fact, the Leomon range of heat pumps has some of the quietest ground source heat pumps on the market.
2. Does the heat pump work in cold weather?
yes. Cold weather should not affect the performance of the ground source heat pump. Regardless of the outside temperature, the ground maintains a stable temperature throughout the year; just 1.2m below the ground, it remains a fairly constant 8-12°C. This means your ground source heat pump can provide you with efficient heating and hot water no matter the weather.
Air source heat pumps lose efficiency in winter and when outdoor temperatures drop at night.
3. What maintenance does the ground source heat pump need?
As a non-combustion heating system, ground source heat pumps have no annual maintenance requirements. It requires very little maintenance, and the unit is installed safely in the home, away from damaged external components.
Important Tips for Minimal Maintenance
Over the 20-year lifespan of a heat pump, it's wise to check its performance, just like any other heating system. To prepare for the heating season, any installer can perform a simple system check that includes:
1). Check the collectors to make sure they are absorbing the best energy
2). Review room stats and programmers for distribution systems to ensure they are functioning properly
3). Make sure any components that charge the battery are charged
4). Make sure the system pressure is higher than 2 bar
5). Test the inflation pressure of the expansion vessel of the heating system
6). By maintaining your heat pump, you can ensure it is in top condition. In doing so, it 7). Maintains energy efficiency, continues to save you on heating bills, and ensures and optimizes ongoing payments for renewable thermal incentives.
4. Is it difficult to install a heat pump?
Do not. For a competent heating engineer or plumber, installing a ground source heat pump is actually easier than installing a gas boiler!
Basic works, such as drill holes or trenches for collectors, can be done by subcontractors. This is external work handled by experienced foundation specialists, separate from the heat pump installation itself.
Heat pump installations cause minimal disruption to occupants or businesses. Most of the work is done outside, and installing a heat pump on a property is no different than installing a boiler. Leomon's heat pumps are designed to be easy to install as they are specially manufactured for UK properties.
5. Do heat pumps require planning permission?
Most ground source heat pump installations are classified as permitted to develop - meaning they do not require planning permission. However, planning permission is required in some cases. For example, properties with multiple heat pumps installed, or projects with ground-level arrays installed over a distance greater than 0.5 hectares.
Ground source heat pumps are designed for quiet operation. They can be installed inside with no visual impact on the property. Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, are installed on the exterior of the property. They can be noisy and affect the appearance of the property, which is why they usually require planning permission.
Why choose a Leomon ground source heat pump?
Suitable for all kinds of buildings
Ground source heat pumps are easy to install and perfectly compatible with UK buildings, schools, towers and more.
Comfortable technical support
Whether your Leomon heat pump is new or used, each unit comes with additional technical support for years to come. If you need it, our pre-installation and post-installation support team is always here for support or advice.