Air Source & Ground Source Heat Pumps for Eco-Friendly Heating & Hot Water
Air source and ground source heat pumps are proving a popular solution to the problem of carbon emissions. The UK government have pledged to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, a challenging prospect. Heat pumps offer a viable alternative to damaging fossil fuels, and are extremely efficient. Heat pump systems come as air or ground source, extracting energy from natural sources. This energy is converted and used to provide hot water and heating for homes and businesses.
Heat pumps are 3 times more efficient than gas boilers, but do need some electricity to operate. Even though the cost of fuel has increased significantly, heat pumps are still cheaper to run. The government has also said it will look into ways to ensure that heat pumps cost less to run than gas boilers. There has recently been a huge boost for the heat pump sector, with the arrival of super-sized heat pumps.
Green Alternative to Fossil Fuels, Heat Pump Technology
The war in Ukraine has forced many other countries including the UK, to seek alternatives to Russian gas. Super sized heat pumps are a step towards a solution to this dilemma along with other fuel related issues. London and Gateshead are the recipients of two colossal heat pumps. The London super-sized heat pump has been installed in the heart of the city, behind the Port of London Authority building. EON are the installers, and their CEO Michael Lewis, praised green district heating schemes. He said: “They fundamentally change the landscape, “It means we get off natural gas, so not only is that a benefit for the climate, it also means our energy prices are no longer tied to the volatile international gas market.
The Citigen facility has for many years delivered energy using oil, coal, gas and will now provide renewable energy. This will be sourced from warm water in an aquifer down under the streets of London. The system will even operate by using green electricity to provide lots of heat. These heat pumps are not limited to areas where there is underground water either making them very versatile.
Sustainable Ways to Tackle Climate Change
We are all aware that gas prices have skyrocketed over the last few years, and fuel poverty is a real concern. It’s obvious to many that action is now needed, if we are to limit any impending negative effects. Around one quarter of all the UK’s greenhouse gases are produced as a result of heating its 30 million buildings. These massive heat pumps could offer a real solution, and the UK government wants to see 600,000 heat pumps installed per year by 2028. It’s hoped that these efforts will contribute towards achieving net zero emission targets.
The Gateshead super-sized heat pump, sources its warm water from what was once an active coal mine. As with other disused mines, it is now flooded with naturally warm water at around 15c. The giant heat pump nearby, transfers the water to the heat pump system, and the water temperature is elevated to 80c. It is then sent through a network of pipes leading to local homes and businesses who benefit from this heat. The water is then returned back to source via the same pipe system, and the process is repeated. This set up is a larger version of the way heat pump systems work when installed in people’s homes.
Warmer Homes & Cheaper Fuel Bills with Clean Energy
District heating, delivers cost-effective and low carbon heat using a network of underground, insulated pipes. A centralised system brings heat and hot water to several buildings, as opposed to Individual set ups. Properties connected to the green district heating scheme use heat exchangers instead of boilers. When the heat arrives from heat pumps, it is sent through water pipes and utilised for kitchens and bathrooms. Many people feel that any upheaval involving pipework etc is well worth it. After all, their homes are much warmer and their fuel bills much lower.
The super-sized heat pumps, when working at full capacity, provide heating and hot water for roughly 5,000 homes. It’s encouraging to see something positive emerge from the negative legacy of coal mining. The way we heat our homes in the future could be very different if these eco-friendly assets can be utilised on a vast scale.