Putting Your Land To Use: The Rise Of Ground Source Heating In The UK
With the UK's tendency towards long harsh winters and cooler summers, the call for more energy efficient heating has been made.
The prevailing heating system in the UK is currently Gas Systems. In fact, 85% of all the heating systems are gas boilers, and about 1.5million gas boilers are installed each year - Making UK, the biggest boiler market in Europe. Renewable Heating, on the other hand, represents only about 2% of the heating systems in the UK.
However, more and more consumers are beginning to step away from the traditional Gas Boilers in search of something else, something more energy efficient and something with cheaper running costs; Ground Source Heat Pumps. The use of heat pumps is well established in many countries throughout Europe, especially market leaders Switzerland and Sweden.
In the UK, though, it's not. Why? Will it be like that forever? The UK is already beginning to increase its use in Ground Source Heat Pumps; continue reading to find out more about Ground Source Heating, the advantages and how it works, below...
What is a Ground Source Heat Pump
A Ground Source Heat Pump is an environmentally sustainable method of heating both your hot water and household air. It attracts solar energy stored in the ground through a set of underground pipework (ground arrays) and converts this into higher temperatures. This approach is able to meet 100% of your household heating and water needs, all year round.
What makes this process of household heating so efficient and reliable is the temperature of the ground… it remains at a stable 8-10 degrees all year round! It may be hard to understand how this works in winter? However, the process works better when the outside air temperature is cooler than the ground temperature - Turns out this is when you need it the most!
How they work
Radiation from the sun naturally heats the earth’s surface, summer or winter. The earth then stores this heat around two meters or so down at eight to ten degrees, creating an energy Ground Source Heat Pumps can tap into.
But how do the heat pumps conduct this energy into heat?
Through the laws of physics, heat naturally flows from warmer to cooler places, a ground source heat pump follows this basic principle by circulating a cold fluid around the ground arrays, which absorb and attract the ground’s low-grade heat energy.
The ground source heat pump then compresses and condenses this heat energy and transfers it, through the heat pump, to the property’s heating and hot water system, spreading it out through the underground heating, radiators and hot water cylinder. Having surrendered the heat energy from the ground to the heat pump, the fluid from the ground arrays continues its circuit back to commence the cycle all over again.
Check out the Ground Source Heat Pump diagram below:
Why they are increasing in popularity in the UK?
Ground Source Heat Pumps are becoming increasingly more popular in the UK due to the environmental benefits they possess. In this day and age, Society is constantly looking for new ways to decrease its carbon footprint. This is echoed perfectly by the Chancellor, who announced last year that all gas heating will be banned in all new homes built from 2025 and beyond. This will pave the way for heat pumps and more specifically ground source heating to take mainstay in modern UK homes.
In addition to the Chancellor’s announcement, the government is currently supporting renewable energy through the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This is a financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat in the UK and applies to consumers using eligible energy sources (e.g Ground Source Heating). When joining the scheme and installing renewable heating, you are inadvertently helping the government meet its renewable energy targets. This enables you to receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat it’s estimated your system produces.
The Advantages of Ground Source Heating
There are many advantages to installing Ground Source Heating; Along with the environmental benefits and available government incentives, they save on running and maintenance costs as well.
- The main Benefit of GSH is the money saving opportunities. They are much cheaper to run than direct electric heating systems - oil boilers, burning coal, LPG or gas
- A Ground Source Heat Pump requires less maintenance than combustion based heating systems such as Gas Boilers. They also have a longer life span and are fully automatic, requiring a lot less work.
- GSH are safe, silent, unobtrusive and out-of-sight whilst requiring no planning permission.
- It is a form of renewable energy, which significantly reduces your household carbon emissions; More traditional methods burn Oil, Gas, LPG or Biomass creating large carbon footprints.
- As well as heating, Ground Source Heat Pumps also produce cooling in the summer months! A well designed Ground Source system is likely to increase the sale value of your property.
Inspired by Renewable Energy Sources of the Future?
Do you think Ground Source Energy could be the solution to your land? At the Farm Business Innovation Show, we’ll be welcoming the companies who can help you diversify into this lucrative, yet sustainable, business. Get your FREE tickets to meet the people who can help you with your finances, information, marketing, and installation!
Alternatively, if you think you could offer any of the above to a budding landowning entrepreneur, then come along and exhibit at next year’s show! Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 11th & 12th November, it’ll be an event to remember. Just get in contact with our Event Director, Reece Morris, using the details below:
Phone: +44 (0)117 929 6087
We look forward to meeting you, to help you boost your revenues!