Ground Source Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps draw heat from the environment using the conventional refrigeration cycle to produce more energy than they consume. They are an extremely effective and efficient way to not only heat your home, but produce all your hot water needs.

Daly Renewables has installed Ecoforest ground source heat pumps for over 7 years now. In that time the Ecoforest products have evolved into the most efficient and reliable there is in the marketplace. Key features of their heat pumps that appeal to us  include:

  • A wide range of units are manufactured which means there is one suitable for almost every project. Power ranges: 1-9 kW/ 3-12 kW/ 5-22 kW/ 12-40 kW / 15-70 kW / 25-100 kW.
  • Inverter driven compressors to match the exact heat load of the building all year round.
  • Integration with Solar PV via the Ecoforest E Manager.
  • Lots of options for heat collection, ie, vertical ground loop, horizontal ground loop, air source, energy blades and a hybrid using a combination of air and ground heat sources.
  • Passive and Active Cooling. Check our blog from a previous client.
  • Internet connection through the ecoSMART Easynet
  • Energy Usage Information and COP/ SPF Data available on all units
  • HTR Technology in domestic units by Ecoforest re-routes excess heat when on heating mode and sends it to the hot water cylinder. This occurs more frequently in winter months as the heating is on more. This makes the Ecoforest heat pump incredibly efficient as it effectively heats the water as a by-product of the heating production. Therefore, it reduces the running costs, increases the overall system efficiency and can raise the hot water temperature in the winter. Other heat pumps on the market do not have this co-efficient capacity.

How does a GSHP work?

Ground Source Heat Pump systems rely on the energy absorbed from the sun and rainwater penetration to keep the ground re-energised, which in the UK and Ireland results in a fairly constant temperature of about 8-12°C. This energy is absorbed by a series of HDPE plastic pipes which collect the energy via a water/ antifreeze solution commonly referred to as “brine”. The refrigeration circuit inside the unit will use the energy from the brine to further increase the temperature and pressure in the system. This is then used to provide heating and hot water via the built-in heat exchanger (condenser) inside the unit. The technology itself is well proven, as evidenced by the fact that   80% of homes in Sweden have heat pumps as their heating system. Furthermore, in the last 10 years there has been significant innovation which has resulted in greater effectivness and efficiency.

The Ecoforest heat pump is very quiet in operation and designed to be fitted inside the property, typically in a ground floor store, plant room, cloak room or utility room. It is compact in size (similar to domestic fridge, 600mm wide x 700mm deep x 1060mm high) and has all the required circulating pumps, valves, expansion valves built into the unit, allowing for a nice compact installation.


Ecoforest B1 GSHPEcoforest B1 GSHP


The first consideration in choosing a ground source heat pump is site specific and includes:

  • The buildings’ energy characteristics and requirements. A heat pump is an ideal system for a low energy dwelling such where the typical heat load is less than 40 W/m2. A typical system in the winter should be operating for a maximum period of 12 hours over a 24 hour period.
  • Location and Topography of Site.
  • Geology of the ground – ground source heat pumps operate through pipes most commonly laid horizontally in trenches dug 1.2 metres deep. They can also operate from pipe laid in a bore hole, but this option is more expensive and would only be chosen where there was not enough ground available to lay horizontally. A typical horizontal collector system requires an approximate area of 400 – 800 m2 depending on the size of house.


Geothermal Pipework for GSHPGeothermal Pipework for GSHP

Maintenance Requirements

The maintenance requirements for a GSHP is minimal.  The filters should be removed and cleaned at commissioning stage and after that it should not need to be done on a repeated basis. Other external factors which may affect the efficiency of the system and which should be regularly checked are the pressure in the heating and/or brine circuits and the quality of the water. Both will have an impact on the performance and longevity of these systems but this is no different to a conventional heating system. We recommend that a service is undertaken of the heat pump between every 3 and 5 years.

There are a number of reasons for choosing ground source heat pumps over air source heat pumps, with further reading available here in our blog post.

If you are interested in considering a heat pump for your home or business, why not contact us for a chat?

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