While ground source energy is ideal for providing balanced heating and cooling systems to control temperatures in buildings it is clear that installations need careful design based on a good understanding of fundamental principles.
Where good design is absent there is a risk of installations failing to achieve the goals expected of them. For this reason a number of related standards have been issued to ensure high standards and safeguard the reputation of the industry. The Ground Source Heat Pump Association is at the heart of this process and has published a set of GSHP Standards:
- GSHPA Vertical Borehole Standard
- GSHPA Shallow Ground Source Standard
- GSHPA Thermal Pile Standard
These Standards are not, of themselves, legal documents that require to be followed, but they are frequently cited in contracts and have become accepted as evidence of following good practice.
The GSHPA has worked with the Environment Agency, DECC, CIBSE, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, the British Drilling Association and the British Geological Survey in contributing to the standards and guidelines issued by others.
Horizontal Ground Heat Exchange: Shallow Ground Source Standard
The Shallow Ground Source Standard defines the standards and practices expected in good heat pump installations employing closed loop horizontal ground heat exchangers.
Vertical Borehole Standard
The Vertical Borehole Standard defines the standards and practices expected in good heat pump installations employing closed loop vertical boreholes.
Thermal Pile Standard
The Thermal Pile Standard defines the standards and practices expected in good heat pump installations employing thermal piles as heat exchangers with the ground.
Environment Agency – Good Practice Guide
The Environment Agency has published a Good practice guide for ground source heating and cooling which lists the regulatory requirements for open loop systems.
CP2 Surface Water Source Heat Pumps: Code of Practice
As well as providing an comprehensive description and checklist of the various elements of an installation – from feasibility, through design, construction, commissioning and operations – the Code includes a number of useful case studies of installations of surface water source heat pumps in England, Wales, Ireland and Norway.
The Code of Practice has being drawn up by CIBSE, the Heat Pump Association and the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, supported by DECC. It examines the options for extracting heat from surface water to provide heating and rejecting heat to open water to provide cooling. This provides developers with guidance on where SWSHPs can be used to provide large scale heat transfer in densely populated urban areas and raise the standards of design and implementation of water source heat pumps in district heating systems.
The Code can be bought from www.cibse.org/CP2. Electronic copies are available without charge to members of CIBSE, HPA and the GSHPA.
Meanwhile, a short leaflet explaining how the Code can be used by building owners and developers can be seen by clicking the image on the right.
Microgeneration Certification Scheme – MIS 3005
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme has issued Microgeneration Installation Standards, including MIS 3005 for heat pump installations. These are relevant to domestic installations below 45kW capacity because the RHI is only available if MCS approved equipment is installed by MCS approved installers.
Heat Emitter Guide for Domestic Heat Pumps
The Heat Emitter Guide is designed to stimulate a proper review of heat loads in houses, room-by-room, and guide the sizing of radiators, or underfloor heating circuits, to lead to optimal performance and lower running costs.
Installation of Ground Source Heat Pumps
To get the full benefit of a GSHP installation you will need to employ someone with design and installation experience. A ground source heat pump may not perform well unless it is incorporated in a good design by someone who understands the needs of the building, the use to which the building is being put and the local geology.
To ensure a soft landing you should ensure that a ground source system is well understood and well maintained and this may include fine tuning the controls in the first years of operation.
ICAX Projects using ground source heat pumps: