Heat Pump Case Studies: GHSP Replacing Storage Heaters

Property type: 4-bedroom detached rural property on the Norfolk / Cambridgeshire / Lincolnshire borders

Product installed: 7kW Ground Source Heat Pump with 400 metre ground loop in 2 x 50 metre trenches

Distribution system: Radiators (replacing previous electric storage heaters)

Installation date: October 2008

Peter Davies lives in a 4-bedroom rural property built in 1989 limited in terms of fuel solutions to electricity only. With monthly electricity bills rising to £130 he decided that it was time to investigate alternatives and it was during his investigations that Peter spotted an advert for Ice Energy and their renewable energy options including ground source heat pumps.

"After seeing the advert we attended an Ice Energy Open Day where we were taken with the concept of getting heat from a block of ice as demonstrated on the premises" says Peter referring to a ground source heat pump which draws heat from water to heat the Ice Energy warehouse and training facility.

With his mind made up, Peter attended an Ice Energy training course and installation of his IVT Greenline HT+ C7 ground source heat pump began in October 2008. The 7kW unit extracts ground heat via 2 x 50 metre trenches containing 400 metres of piping known as a 'ground loop'. The installation which included a simple 2 into 4 manifold placed beneath a man hole in the rear garden was "fairly straightforward" according to Peter, taking just one weekend to install the ground loop and 5 days to install the radiators and make the connections to the heat pump which is installed in Peter's garage. Since then Peter hasn't looked back.

"The system since installation has been simply spot on. The temperature of the house is always fine and it's never an issue. We never think it's too hot or too cold, in fact it never even gets mentioned it's just a given that the house is always comfortable" says Peter.

"The only maintenance I have done since installation in 2008 is to bleed air from the heat pump just once. Settings-wise I have adjusted the room temperature and used the holiday setting and that's it."

So what does Peter see as the main benefits of installing ground source heat pumps? "For us it wasn't just the cost savings" says Peter. "Previously we were paying for a heating system that was only on for part of the day and even then we were cold at times and it was cost prohibitive to turn it on for longer.

The heat pump system is hassle-free, low maintenance and comfortable to live with. It's also a great talking point when friends come round. Installing the heat pump in our garage meant we could remove our airing cupboard which made our spare bedroom much bigger and we also no longer have a tank of water in the loft.

Initially I was apprehensive about the additional immersion-type heater which I had visions of operating a lot and costing me a fortune. However, in truth in nearly 4 years and 10,000 operational hours it has only run for a miserly 1% which is mostly due to heating the domestic hot water to 65 degrees once a week for around 15 minutes, so my fears were completely unfounded."

Solutions Used

  • IVT Greenline HT+ C7 ground source heat pump
  • 400 metre slinky ground loop in 2 x 50 metre trenches

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