All Kensa Plant Room ground source heat pumps can be manufactured to provide dedicated active cooling for a building. Kensa also offers passive cooling solutions to provide ultra-low cost cooling in the summer, whilst re-charging the ground for a more energy efficient ground source heating system.

Ambient shared ground loops with ground source heat pumps overcome overheating and provide passive cooling

Ambient Benefits of Ground Source Heat Pumps

Warmer summers, penchants for glazed exteriors, and improvements in insulation standards and airtightness are placing increasing pressures on the need for cooling of both domestic and commercial buildings.

In many modern commercial buildings, the requirement for cooling is now almost as great (if not greater) than the requirement for heating.

By utilising Kensa’s ambient temperature Shared Ground Loop design this avoids the common issue of overheating caused by traditional central plant heat networks or district heating.

The distribution system can also bypass the ground source heat pump and utilise the cooler ‘source’ temperature of the ground compared to internal building temperatures, to deliver a degree of ‘free’ or passive cooling, whilst helping to improve the overall efficiency of the system, and lower the installation costs (read Kensa’s blog ‘Overheating & Passive Cooling: The Ambient Benefits of GSHPs’).

For applications requiring year round cooling, then Kensa Plant Room ground source heat pumps can be operated in active cooling reverse-cycle mode to deliver temperatures of 7°C – 12°C.

Active Cooling

When operating in a reverse-cycle mode, Kensa ground source heat pumps provide active cooling by generating chilled water (typically at 6°C to 12°C) to cool a building, operating in a similar manner to a chiller.

For a ground source heat pump to actively cool, Kensa makes these modifications at the time of manufacture.


The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is only paid for the production of heat and so systems capable of active cooling will often have more complex metering arrangements to continue to be eligible for this subsidy.

Recommended Active Cooling Applications

Active cooling with Kensa ground source heat pumps is particularly commonplace in large commercial applications.

Kensa’s modular Commercial Plant Room Ground Source Heat Pump Series enables the system to match any required cooling load.

Discover the Plant Room Series
Stakeford Depot & Riverside Centre ground source heat pump case study: commercial plant room during installation

Cascaded Heating & Cooling Systems

With multiple units it is possible to provide heating and cooling to different parts of the building simultaneously.

Utilising Kensa’s Cascaded System Architecture, dedicated ground source heat pumps could be cascaded to efficiently deliver fluctuating heating and cooling requirements to different circuits, effectively forming a series of cascaded systems, in one system.

Read About Cascaded Heat Pumps
Cascaded ground source heat pumps

Passive Cooling

Passive or ‘free’ cooling with a ground source heat pump is a unique benefit to our technology.

The cool temperature of the ground compared to building internal temperatures in summer allows for passive cooling to be provided.

Passive cooling uses the low temperature of the ground loop to cool the property via a fan coil, passive beams or an underfloor cooling system.

This is simply achieved by passing the contents of the cooling system through a plate heat exchanger with the ground array fluid passing through the other side.

This system completely bypasses the ground source heat pump, and so the only running cost is for the circulating pump and the distribution fan, estimated around £20 per year, which is a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.

Watch this short video on passive cooling

The coolest bit about passive cooling is that any energy taken out of the building during the cooling process helps to recharge the ground array; this will increase the efficiency of the heat pump when providing hot water through the summer, and also store enough energy in the ground to improve the efficiency of the heat pump when heating the building the following winter.

Recommended Passive Cooling Applications

As buildings become increasingly airtight and well insulated, and with climate change making hotter summers more likely, the need for cooling in new build developments is increasing.

Shared ground loops could therefore offer significant benefits over and above providing the lowest cost of heating – especially in highly glazed flats.

When connected to ambient shared ground loop arrays, ground source heat pumps with passive cooling have the added benefit of using the waste heat to re-charge the ground array to improve the overall efficiency of the system rather than just throwing it away.

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

Kensa's Passive Cooling Module

Passive cooling works in individual properties, or communal areas within blocks of flats, but gets really interesting when scaling up to larger shared ground loop district schemes connecting multiple buildings with a mix of dwellings and commercial buildings.

The benefit of balancing the heating and cooling loads can offer the opportunity of not only efficiency improvements, but also reducing the capital cost of the ground array as the balanced load means borehole depths can be reduced.

The Kensa Shoebox Ground Source Heat Pump, connected to an ambient shared ground loop array, fitted with the Kensa passive cooling module, provides a one-stop-shop efficient heating and cooling solution for clusters of multiple buildings and flats.

The Kensa Passive Cooling Module can also be retrofitted to Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pump systems.

Download Fact Sheet
Passive cooling wiring centre Honeywell

Related Content

Blog: Overheating & Passive Cooling: The Ambient Benefits of GSHPs

Recent Summers have ranked some of the hottest on record. We are not complaining, it’s been lovely, but overheating is certainly an issue that needs to be faced when looking at the design of multiple occupancy buildings.

Videos: Ground source heat pumps & passive cooling

Kensa’s ground source heat pump systems offer free passive cooling, whilst the ambient temperature of the distribution system further offsets any potential overheating. Passive cooling uses the low temperature of the ground loop to cool the property via a fan coil, which can be located in the main living rooms or bedrooms to provide comfort…

Information Sheets: Passive Cooling Module

Passive Cooling Module Factsheet Version 2

Information Sheets: Cooling Distribution (FS) V2

Cooling Distribution (FS) V2 Factsheet Version 2

Information Sheets: Commercial Plant Heating & Cooling (AIS) V2

Commercial Plant Heating and Cooling Application Information Sheet Version 2

Information Sheets: Current & Electrical Inputs in Cooling Mode (FS) V1

Current & Electrical Inputs in Cooling Mode Fact Sheet Version 1