GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS Using the Earth as a heat reservoir
A ground source system uses the earth all the time, as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems. Ground source heat pumps harvest heat absorbed at the Earth's surface from solar energy, the temperature in the ground below 6 metres (20 ft) is roughly 10 - 16 degrees.
Using a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is buried in your garden, heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. This heat is then used for heating homes and businesses along with heating hot water.
The heat pump increases the temperature and then distributes it through your homes heating system. This heat can then heat your radiators, underfloor heating and hot water. Ground source heat pumps can heat water to temperatures up to 65ºC even when ground temperatures are -5ºC.
While heat pumps are considered renewable energy technology they do use some small amounts of electricity. For every unit of non-renewable energy they use ground source heat pumps provide between 3 and 4 units of renewable energy.
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