Heat Pump Case Studies: Ground Source Heat Pump in Warwickshire

Property type: Four-bedroom, part-thatched barn conversion in Warwickshire.

Product installed: Greenline HT Plus E11 ground source heat pump with 280 litre hot water tank and 4kW solar PV array

Distribution system: Radiators for first floor and half of ground floor, underfloor heating for the other half of the ground floor

Installation date: January 2012

As part of a project to convert a timber framed thatched barn adjoining his existing two-storey barn conversion, Mr Scott took the opportunity to replace his existing heating system with a new ground source heat pump based system. He also complemented this with a 4kW solar PV array.

What promptedyou to investigate heat pumps?
"We knew that our existing electrically heated wet central heating system wouldn't be up to the job once the barn conversion extension had doubled the size of the house, so we started looking at alternatives. Our architect suggested an air source heat pump, a technology I previously knew nothing about. When I did my own research it quickly became apparent that heat pump technology had many benefits and a ground source heat pump would be particularly suitable for us given we had an adjoining paddock we could bury the ground collector pipes under."

How did you find the installation process?
"Our system features 3 x 50m trenches containing 600m of “slinky” pipework. Although our main building contractor had never installed a ground source heat pump before, the clear installation manual and technical support from Ice Energy made this a relatively straightforward job. It took about a week from start to finish to dig the trenches, lay the pipework, pressure test it, backfill and re-seed the paddock.Our plumber had also never installed a heat pump before, but thanks to the free technical session at Ice Energy and again the excellent installation manual this proved to be no problem."

What has it been like living with heat pumps?
"The system took a couple of months of fine tuning to get the settings just right and to our satisfaction, but since then it has performed very well providing enough heating and hot water for our family of four at all times.The heat pump is also very quiet in operation even though it is actually located in our entrance hall, concealed in a purpose built cupboard."

What would you say are the benefits of heat pumps?
"Heat pumps are a fantastic technology and they deserve to be more widely known about. Taking advantage of the free energy stored in the ground while at the same time reducing the dependence on other external fuel sources seems like a great idea to me!
 
Complementing the heat pump with a solar PV installation also makes sense as you can use the free electricity generated to power the heat pump during sunny days while also receiving income from the solar Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme.
 
Since installing our ground source heat pump and solar PV array we've seen a 30% reduction in our electricity consumption, and that is despite our house being twice as big as it was prior to the extension and heat pump being installed. Also the fact that it is maintenance free (apart from checking a couple of small particle strainers once a year) is a welcome benefit.
 
Another factor to take into consideration is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme starting in the Summer of 2014 which will give quarterly payments based on the amount of renewable heat you generate for a period of 7 years and which will more than offset the cost of installing the heat pump."

Why did you choose Ice Energy as your heat pump provider?
"With heat pumps being a relatively little known technology in the UK, it was important for me to go with the company with the most experience – and that was clearly Ice Energy. I wanted to be sure that the system specified and supplied was of a high quality but also representing good value, and was backed by good technical support if required."

What has the service been like from Ice Energy?
"At every step of the process, Ice Energy was excellent. The staff - from sales, site assessment and system specification, logistics, installation through to after-sales technical support - have been very professional and efficient."

Would you recommend Ice Energy to others?
"Absolutely."

Solutions Used

  • Greenline HT Plus E11 ground source heat pump and 280 litre hot water storage tank
  • 4kW solar PV array

Videos and images reproduced by kind permission of Mr. Scott

Download a copy of this heat pump case study.

Read Mr. Scott's blog about his heat pump installation.