Water source heat pumps
Water source heat pumps can be used to provide heating in homes near to rivers, streams and lakes. They are similar to Ground Source Heat Pumps except that the ground loop is immersed in water.
Closed or Open Loop
The loop can either be closed, as it is with the ground source heat pump, or it can be open, where the source water itself circulates into the pump. Open systems are generally thought to be more efficient, but need more maintenance.
You will need a large lake or river near by. Installation can be costly as you may well need to drain the lake or involve divers.
The savings can be considerable – Castle Howard, a baroque stately home in Yorkshire installed a water source heat pump at a cost of £185,000 (but with grants and interest free loans totalling £120,000). The expected annual heating bill when using oil was £80,000, however after a year using the heat pumps the electricity bill was only £14,000. It is very likely that the savings in your home will be more modest, assuming your home is more modest; in the same region of the savings from of a Ground Source Heat Pumps.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have announced that the Renewable Heat Incentive is expected to be launched in Summer 2013.
- How does the heat from a heat pump reach the house?
- The ground loop in the system contains a carrier fluid which absorbs the heat in your ground. It's pumped around to the pump unit in your house, which transfers the heat from the carrier fluid to your water and concentrates it at the same time, meaning that it is hot enough to be used in your heating and as hot water.
- Will a ground source heat pump be able to heat my home adequately in the winter?
- As long as you have enough space in your garden for a system that meets your needs, and your choice of system is suited to your heating needs, a ground source heat pump should be able to heat your home comfortably in the winter. They are often used very effectively in far colder countries than Britain.
- Can a ground source heat pump be used to cool my house?
- Yes, in some ground source heat pump systems this can be achieved as either passive or active cooling.
- Will a ground source heat pump save me money on my energy bills?
- Yes, a well designed ground source heat pump system will save money and CO2 compared to other traditional heating systems, especially now that the government is in part funding new installations with the Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant. Exactly how much money you save depends on how well your system is designed and the efficiency of your old system. Find out how much you could save by completing our Energy Assessment.
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