Installing Heat Pumps

Become a ground source heat pump installer with Kensa’s help. Explore our top tips, training videos and available support to install a ground source heat pump with confidence – whether you’re upskilling, new to ground source or preparing for the low-carbon future ahead.

Installation of a Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pump

Why install a ground source heat pump?

Heat pumps are an important piece of the net-zero carbon puzzle as we phase out the use of fossil fuel heating, such as wet wood-burning and gas.

Installing a ground source heat pump is the best way to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions associated with heating and cooling our homes. Free, renewable energy from the ground produces heating that’s sustainable and eco-friendly.

Can I install a ground source heat pump?

The heat pump installation itself is surprisingly straightforward. Any competent builder or plumber can fit a Kensa ground source heat pump. To ensure an extra level of assurance for end users and to qualify for funding the installation must be accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

With Kensa, you can learn how to install your own heat pump by attending our free installer training. If you’re already a competent heat pump installer, you can use our MCS Umbrella service for full support with heat pump installations.

Learn from the UK’s leading ground source experts

Looking to become a ground source heat pump installer? Our free one-day course is ideal for installers who are new to ground source, upskilling or simply need a quick refresher.

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See the MCS best practice guide

The simple transition from gas to ground source

Kensa’s ground source heat pumps are designed for British homes and with ease of installation in mind, making them as easy to fit as a standard boiler.

If you are traditionally a gas heating installer, transitioning to fitting ground source heat pumps is straightforward and reduces risks, cost, and time. Unlike a gas boiler system, a ground source heat pump has no flue or ventilation requirements, no condense pipe to fit, no more landlord gas safety checks, and simpler and cleaner servicing.

Same design skills, different technology

Designing a heating system to work with a ground source heat pump is exactly the same design as is required for a condensing gas boiler that actually condenses i.e. runs at 50°C.

Installers who can design and install a gas heating system that runs at the temperatures required for the boiler to condense (and not at the higher, less efficient temperatures) have all the skills they need to install a ground source heat pump. And Kensa will provide you with all the necessary support to cover the installation of the ground array.

Free ground source heat pump training

Whilst the installation of a ground source heat pump doesn’t require any specialist training or qualifications, we recommend that all installers new to the technology contact Kensa to undertake free training to ensure the best quality installations and peace of mind.

Training courses covering the Microgeneration Installation Standard MIS3005 are available across the UK. These include the requirements for contractors undertaking the supply, design, installation, set to run, commissioning and handover of microgeneration heat pump systems. In addition to these standards, Kensa’s installer training courses offer a number of additional topics including peak heat load, ground array design, preferred system architecture, flow temperature and heat emitter calculations.

Find out more about training

Installing ground arrays

The groundwork and its contractor provide a connection to the ‘heat source’ in the same way that the utility companies are responsible for providing connections to the gas, electricity or water grids. In a typical project featuring a gas boiler, the plumber would only be responsible for installing the boiler and would not handle the provision of the gas supply to the property. Kensa is simply mirroring this approach.

Top tips on ground arrays

  • Split the overall installation scope so that a separate contractor is handling the groundworks.
  • If the ground arrays are slinkies, any groundworks contractor would be able to dig the horizontal trenches – following a plan supplied by Kensa – and install the pipework, leaving the plumbing contractor to purge the system and perform a pressure test.
  • If boreholes are being used, Kensa Heat Pumps can recommend a number of drilling contractors.

Video guides to ground arrays

Installing ground arrays

Unrolling slinkies

Why do ground arrays need to be purged?

For a ground source heat pump to operate correctly, it’s important that all the air is removed from the ground arrays before the heat pump is turned on. Failure to do this correctly can cause the heat exchanger to freeze and the heat pump will stop working. If this happens, you would have to leave the heat pump to defrost at least 24 hours and then re-purge the ground arrays.

To remove the air from ground arrays, you will need a suitable purge pump. For slinkies, the longest slinky trench is 50m, which will contain a total of approximately 300m of pipe. To achieve the minimum velocity required to remove the air, a minimum pump power in excess of 1kW is required. In addition, the pump needs to have a flow of at least 60 litres per minute against a pressure of at least 1 bar. To achieve this, you will need a multi-stage pump.

A normal cold water main in a building has insufficient flow to force out this air. Mains water is also aerated, so it should not be used.

Video guides to purging & electrics

Filling & purging ground arrays

Useful installation resources

The range of Kensa products are straightforward to install and they work very effectively.

Brian Connell, Owner, GroundSun

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