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Thread: Renewable Heating (Ground source) Any good?

  1. #1

    Renewable Heating (Ground source) Any good?

    Alright folks

    Just wondering wot everyone's thoughts and experiences are with ground source heat pumps?

    I'm renovating an old house and need to decide which way i'm going for heating.
    Until a few days ago was meaning to put a Boimass boiler in.

    I'm putting UFH in and stripping old house back to the 4 walls and building a kit inside it with a new roof, so essentially a modern house in insulation terms

    But a few folk have been singing the praises if GSHP. Phoned a couple of MCS registered companies that do GS as well as Boimass and they all have said they would put GS in every time over Boimass, and even with me having free firewood (if u dinae count my time and saw wear/fuel) they still think the GSHP is a better system.
    Plus the way RHI payments are considering both systems will be about the same to put in

    Just doesnae really make sense to me, and worried about the ammount of electrity it might use, and to late once ur committed and have installed it.
    Plus the area where i'd like to put the GS pipes is prob 4m above the house so possibly dearer to pump uphill? or is there any siohponing with the water flowing downhill?

    And just speaking to my mate a plumber tonite he would never recommend a GSHP, just struggle too much for the hot water for the house.

    Not sure wot to do?
    Even a GSHP for the UFH and a totally different hot water circuit of the log burner i was going to put in living room anyway, but on an old fashioned gravity fed circuit, so i can use it in a power cut (which are fairly frequant where i am) But that means 2 seperate accumulator tanks which are not cheap.
    Or just ignore the whole RHI scam and put a boimass system in with cheaper non MCS tradesmen without even claiming the money

    Just so many different opinoins on it and both seem to be quite extreme eiter rubbish or great

  2. #2
    Don't go there !! Far better with biomass pellet boiler. Had mine just over 12 months now & couldn't be better

  3. #3
    I did some research into the various types a year or so back and I didn't think it was worth the money. If anything I would have gone for air source. But in the end I went woodburner, cos I like sitting looking at it. It is also connected To the heating. Free wood is a great incentive.
    i would have liked to go for underfloor heating as well but that would have been far too much work in our house.
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  4. #4
    I've put in a couple of GSHP systems, look up Kensa they are a UK manufacturer with lots of info on their site, if you are fitting a woodburner as well then they can help design a bi-valent system to allow you to get the best out of both sources, no point asking a plumber ,most of them won't know much about it, I've worked on GSHP systems for the last 7 years on and off mostly fixing other peoples work, and I wouldn't start one with out running it past the techs at a manufacturer to make sure the plan was correct. water from a GSHP isn't a problem as long as the system is correctly designed and installed! its a minefield out there and good luck!
    "Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement"
    "'The matter is under consideration' means we have lost the file. 'The matter is under active consideration' means we are trying to find the file."

  5. #5
    Beef up your U values if you're re-insulating to get your house closer to a passive state - then I would go solar thermal, PV and wood burner with back boiler. This is tried and tested stuff with neutral carbon impact.

    I've seen a lot of biomass get kicked into the long grass of late in favour of ASHP - not easy to shoe-horn into an existing house though.

    If you're going for UFH in an old house, you may well have to dig down on the ground floor to get a decent amount of insulation in before your slab and screed goes down - the last thing you want to do is to heat downwards!
    For Gods sake - don't tell her how much I've spent

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
    I've put in a couple of GSHP systems, look up Kensa they are a UK manufacturer with lots of info on their site.
    +1 for Kensa.
    Uphill or downhill makes no difference. I would go for a large heat store and feed it with a Woodbine's and a heat pump, possibly solar thermal too, all heating up a couple of tons of water. It should only lose about a degree per day, so Sunday's fire can feed the ufh on Wednesday.

  7. #7
    Someone has recently bought an old mill near me. They are installing a turbine to produce electricity that will provide the power for a geothermal heating system, so the power will be very low cost. I mentioned it to friend of mine, who is a building surveyor(RICS) with a PhD in building maintenance management. He said. "You get three times as much energy/power/heat out as you put in, but it is all worn out before it has paid for itself".

  8. #8
    Gshp can work out expensive due to the cost of running pumps is was told.

  9. #9
    A chap in Germany won an award as he sourced a used stainless milk truck drum holding about 20K litres, sat it on it"s end with mega insulation and began to build a house around it, first to add was a spiral staircase going up around the drum. Then normal rooms went on the outside, must have been with passive levels of insulation.
    When finished the drum collected it"s heat during the summer months from off of the roof and during the winter it bled the heat back into the home.
    Cracking idea IMO.

  10. #10
    Wood burners are great until you have a health problem then you are paying for the wood, I look after an estate that got a massive biomass burner it took months to get it to work properly and I know of a farm with ground source that heats his house and he loves it, I'd definitely agree with the above post you need a specialist in both not a average plumber keep us updated on your decision

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