Shared Ground Loop Arrays

Kensa’s Shared Ground Loop Arrays (SGLAs) are an award-winning and pioneering approach to District and Communal Heating without the drawbacks of traditional Heat Network systems.

The design allows property owners and developers of two or more dwellings to realise the full potential of ground source heat pumps and receive Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments for both new builds and existing housing stock.

Ambient Shared Ground Loop Arrays

What are Shared Ground Loop Arrays?

Kensa’s Shared Ground Loop Arrays (SGLAs) are a form of ultra-low temperature Heat Network for use with Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps or Evo heat pumps inside each dwelling.

Mimicking a traditional gas framework, a series of ground arrays, typically boreholes, are linked together to form a shared ground loop array acting as a heat energy source to multiple properties (District Heating) or multiple occupancy buildings (Communal Heating).

The shared ground loop system transfers ambient temperature low grade heat energy from the ground (-5°C to 20°C) to individual Kensa ground source heat pumps located inside each individual dwelling.

Each Kensa ground source heat pump then upgrades the ground’s heat energy to provide independently controllable heat and hot water to the property.

Ambient shared groubnd loops provide passive cooling and prevent overheating. Underfloor heating and Shoebox heat pumps

Benefits of Shared Ground Loop Arrays

  • Carbon compliance
  • Planning exempt
  • System compatibility
  • No plant room
  • District and communal
  • Robust and reliable
  • Flexible and scalable

Recommended SGLA Heat Pumps

Shoebox Heat Pump

Shoebox ground source heat pump 3kW product banner to scale

Developed with Shared Ground Loop Arrays in mind, Kensa’s ultra-small Shoebox range of heat pumps are typically installed under the kitchen sink or in an airing cupboard.

The unique 3kW Shoebox heat pump works exceptionally well in new build homes up to 75m2, where the excellent fabric insulation and air tightness specifications means the peak heating load is very modest.

Kensa’s Shoebox Twin (6kW) heat pump suits larger new build properties or retrofit developments where the build condition may demand a higher peak heating load.


Evo Heat Pump

Evo ground source heat pump product banner to scale

The latest evolution in Kensa’s ground source heat pump product ranges, the Evo Series of heat pumps offer the highest efficiencies alongside the latest advances in acoustic insulation and vibration mitigation to minimise the Evo’s acoustic signature, whilst its elegant design compliments the interior of the most stylish home.


The RHI and SGLs

The ‘district’ nature of Shared Ground Loop Arrays qualify them to receive 20 years of guaranteed quarterly income via the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

This guaranteed tax free income provides a return on investment, creating the opportunity for developers and property owners to confidently invest in Shared Ground Loop Arrays, or attract external funders to own the ground array and receive the RHI in return, thus lowering the upfront cost of the installation.

Non Domestic RHI payments for residential properties linked to shared ground loops are paid on the deemed heat consumption taken from the property’s Energy Performance Certificate.  This arrangement mirrors previous policy for stand-alone ground source heat pump installations supported by the Domestic RHI, and gives certainty to the owner of the ground array and recipient of the RHI income.

Benefits: In Detail

Hover over the below interactive image to find out more about the unique benefits of Shared Ground Loop Arrays from Kensa.

Communal ground loops with individual heat pumps are the most economic solution of all (at approximately £500/yr) and are also compliant with London’s key objectives in terms of air quality and carbon emissions. They combine several advantages: they are very energy efficient and do not require dedicated heat metering and billing.

Greater London Authority (GLA), ‘Low Carbon Heat: Heat Pumps in London’ (September 2018)

Shared Ground Loops Vs Heat Networks

Connecting individual Kensa heat pumps installed within multiple dwellings (District or Communal) to a Shared Ground Loop Array circulating at a low temperature provides a unique and technically robust Heat Network, which in addition to qualifying for 20 years of income through the Non Domestic RHI, also offers significant operational benefits over traditional district Heat Networks.

The decentralised approach results in a more efficient system as there are no heat losses through the distribution pipework as the circulated heat through the Shared Ground Loop Array is at ambient temperature, with high-grade heat only generated at the point of use, and only when required; unlike traditional Heat Networks where heat is generated in a central plant and then circulated continually, thus leading to heat losses, and overheating in multiple occupancy buildings.

As such, with Kensa’s Shared Ground Loop Arrays there are no heat losses from the system to contribute to overheating in risers and corridors, a common issue with offices and apartment blocks. Furthermore, as the cold side infrastructure extends all of the way to the individual dwelling, it is easy to add passive cooling to the system.

Crucially, as each dwelling has its own ground source heat pump wired to its own electricity supply, the occupant is in full control of their heating, and billed independently; no tie-in’s to Heat Network contracts or issues of split billing, and complete freedom to switch energy supplier to ensure the best deal.

How It Works

In Theory

This Kensa animation depicts the key stages for Kensa Contracting‘s installation of Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps into individual flats in tower blocks, connected to ambient shared ground loop arrays (boreholes).

In Practice

This time lapse shows the drilling of 25 shared ground loop boreholes for Kensa Shoebox heat pumps in 49 bungalows owned by Stonewater Housing in Weobley (read the Kensa Contracting case study here).

Typical Examples

Kensa’s Shared Ground Loop Arrays are suited to as few as two properties, although they are most common in medium to large scale projects (10+ dwellings).

Click the links below to learn more about these typical applications:

New build developments

Retrofit social housing

Holiday lodges

Kensa's Ambient shared ground loop arrays in luxury new build development, The Dunes

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