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Summer is a busy time for us at isoenergy. It is the ideal time of the year to install collector arrays for ground source heat pumps. isoenergy’s Jordan Lucy explains the impact ground conditions can have on our work and the effectiveness of the collector array.

Throughout this summer we have been very busy with groundworks, a reason for this is the weather. Due to the recent warm and dry weather, ground arrays have been installed in record time especially with ideal conditions in place. Plus, the increasing awareness of ground source heat pumps and different methods of collecting heat for them, has caused our intake of ground source heat pump projects to significantly increase.

Wet and open ground array

The sunny dry spell this year has enabled isoenergy to complete various projects faster due to less disruptions from wet weather. The current weather conditions are perfect for the installation of ground arrays and boreholes, as the dry soil makes moving materials around sites much easier with less disruption to the ground array location. Problems can arise for installations when rain or bad weather occurs. For example, delays can happen when trenches collapse back in as the ground becomes soft and more likely to cave. As a result, projects can take longer as trenches need to be dug again. 

The current benefit of installing a heat pump is not only the ease of installation due to weather, but also, installing a heat pump now means you can start enjoying lower running costs in time for the winter months when the heating system starts. Interestingly, once installed, a collector array will perform best in wet conditions. This is due to water having excellent heat transfer qualities. The water absorbed into the ground will help the ground loops to extract more heat from the warm wet ground. This is because the water acts as a heat conductor, on the other hand, the dry ground would have gaps making it slightly harder to transfer the heat. The water around the pipes helps transfer the heat from the ground to the glycol solution in the pipes, making the heat pump run more efficiently. We make sure our pipes are placed at least one metre underground.  At that level the pipes are under the maximum frost depth of 0.45 metres. Also, the average temperatures at the one metre depth are between 8.8 to 12.7C°, which is more than warm enough for the heat pump to keep its 1:3/4kWh of energy (400%) efficiency.

Why not change to a more sustainable household and move to a renewable heating system?

If you are interested in understanding if a ground source array would be right for you, get in touch on 01293 821 345


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