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A Borehole Heat Pump operates on much the same principle as a Horizontal Array Heat Pump except that instead of the heat-exchanging coil being laid out horizontally, it is installed in one or more Boreholes.
This heat energy is transferred from the coil to the heat pump via a heat exchanger, and is subsequently upgraded to a higher temperature (typically 35-50° C, or higher) and used to heat water and to provide central heating.
The number and depth of Boreholes required depends on the size and model of heat pump installed. The geological make-up of the region may also influence the required depth. Twin Boreholes to a depth of 80-120 metres, would not be unusual for a domestic property.
One of the main advantages of a Borehole Heat Pump compared with a Horizontal Array system, is that the space constraint on the surface does not exist. All that is required is access for a Drilling Rig / Lorry to the Borehole location. However, a Borehole Heat Pump may cost more to install than a Horizontal Array system, due to the drilling involved.
(i) Easy to install in a New Build scenario, can also be installed in a Renovation or Retrofit situation, assuming that access is available to bring a Drilling Rig onto the site.
(ii) Proven technology with a long lifespan. In countries such as Sweden and Germany, the technology has been around for a long time, and there are many installations which are more than 20 years old.
(iii) While Borehole Heat Pump systems may cost more to install than Horizontal Array systems (due to drilling costs), they can be used in situations where Horizontal Array systems simply aren’t an option, due to the limited space available.
(iv) Borehole installations are frequently used in Urban / Suburban settings. Boreholes can be located towards the front of the property, or indeed anywhere on the site.
(v) Environmentally friendly means to heat / provide hot water for your property. No fossil fuels are consumed as the system runs on electricity, which can be provided (at least in part) by sustainable sources such as Wind or Solar PV panels.
(vi) Very efficient means to heat your property, both from an energy and cost perspective. One kW of electricity consumed by your Ground Source Heat Pump, will typically generate around 4 kWs of heat energy.
(i) What is the geological structure of the soil / rock beneath the site (e.g. limestone, shale, granite)?
(ii) Is there access available to bring a Drilling Rig (similar to a lorry) onto the site to drill the Boreholes in the required location?
(iii) Are you considering installing a sustainable source of electricity (such as a small Wind Turbine or Solar Photo Voltaic system) to help provide power for your Heat Pump?
The Renewable Heat Incentive offers an excellent financial incentive to install a Ground Source Heat Pump in your home or property.