Earlier this month, UK Parliament passed a motion declaring an ‘environment and climate emergency’ in response to recent protests and ambitious new targets set by the Committee for Climate Change (CCC) to reduce the country’s levels of greenhouse gas to ‘net-zero’ by 2050.
In order to realise this, UK businesses will need to make significant changes to reduce their environmental impact.
One quick and easy way to achieve this is by switching from fossil fuels to low carbon heating. However, this often requires significant cost outlay which can bring unnecessary risk to a business.
Kensa is urging rural business owners to consider that ground source heat pumps will not only help them meet their environmental obligations, but also allow them to recoup their investment through generous Government subsidy, and realise lucrative new business opportunities.
Get paid to generate renewable heat and diversify your business
Ground source heat pumps extract freely available heat energy from the ground and water. This renewable energy is stored at a consistent temperature all year round and is constantly replenished. As such, the technology is well suited to rural plots that have significant acreage, or streams, rivers, ponds or lakes.
As a non-combustion mode of heating, ground source heat pumps produce no point of use emissions, like CO2, making them a top choice for lessening environmental impact. They don’t require planning permission like air source, and unlike biomass don’t require metering or managing fuel deliveries. Ground source heat pumps produce three times as much energy as they consume, offering a wholly self-sufficient heating solution.
The technology benefits from one of the most lucrative tariffs available through the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. System owners will receive guaranteed quarterly payments on the renewable heat generated. This income compensates for the initial costs of installing the system and in many cases leave the owner in profit.
David Billingsley, Kensa Sales Manager said:
We are seeing more and more rural landowners investing in ground source heat pumps to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses.
In particular many are taking advantage of the ways in which Class Q and Class R have made the planning process easier and are renovating old barns into holiday accommodation or converting unused outbuildings for light commercial use, such as office space.
This way they benefit from the certainty of fixed quarterly RHI payments, and new income streams to diversify their businesses.”
Harnessing the renewable heat beneath your feet
To extract the heat energy, ground source heat pumps use a variety of collectors, sometimes referred to as ground arrays. Ground arrays can take many forms including slinky pipe in soil, pond mats in water, or boreholes in rock. All types have broadly the same performance, but which you choose will depend on the nature of your project.
Locations with a water source within reasonable reach should make this their first option, due to water’s exceptional thermal conductivity and the fact that less digging will be required, and therefore installation costs will be lower. Kensa recommends using specially created ‘pond mats’ made of coiled pipe on a steel frame that are submerged to efficiently extract the heat from the water.
For those looking at extracting heat energy from the ground, the conductivity of the underlying geology will influence the cost of the ground array. Borehole drilling is the most expensive method due to the need for a drill rig, but is the quickest, less invasive option and is perfect for plots where space is restricted. Installing coiled slinky pipe requires trenching and a larger amount of exposed land area, however it often works out as cost effective.