From a very technical perspective, all heat pump systems are water source heat pumps. Water is an excellent conductor of heat, it conducts heat almost 20 times better than air. It is the water vapour in air that contains the heat extracted by air source heat pumps just as it is water which connects the pipes of a ground source heat pump system to the surrounding earth and allows it to conduct heat.
As well as being a great conductor of heat, water also has high density which means that it can store a lot of thermal energy.
All of the above means that water source heat pumps, if designed and installed properly, are the most efficient type. Involving a specialist heat pump contractor like us will ensure that your water source heat pump system runs efficiently and effectively.
Below are the key principles and benefits of a water source heat pump, but we’d love to hear from you and develop a proposal that meets your particular requirements.
Any heat pump system which extracts heat directly from water is called a water source heat pump. A typical water source heat pump is able to extract up to five times more energy from the ground than the energy used by the heat pump and this makes water source heat pumps the most efficient option for providing heating and hot water.
There are two different methods for using water as your heat source:
A water source heat pump system pumps water into the heat pump heat exchanger either under open or closed pressure. Open pressure means that both ends of the pipe are open and so the water which is extracted is discharged back into the ground once the heat has been taken from it. Closed pressure means that a solution of water and glycol is circulated between a heat exchanger which is located in the water source and a second heat exchanger which is located in the heat pump. The pipe circuit is closed and has no open ends so it is called ‘closed’.
The density of water means that it holds lots of thermal energy and this provides a constant heat source throughout the year, even when the air temperature is very cold.
Water’s high thermal conductivity means that it is able to replenish the heat taken from it quickly from the surrounding earth and air.
Heat pump efficiency is a product of the difference between its heat source (the ground) and the heat use (the heating or hot water system). Closed water source heat pumps are the most efficient option because they are able to conduct heat from the air during the warmer months and then extract heat from the earth when the air temperature gets colder.
Closed loop water source heat pump systems are also the least expensive option as there is no cost for boreholes and the groundworks is usually minimal. However, you will need to have an adequate source of water within the vicinity of the heat use. We can advise on which water sources are suitable.
Water source heat pumps can provide all your space heating and hot water. They can also provide cheap cooling if you have a suitable distribution system installed.
Historically, heat pumps were not able to achieve high enough temperatures to meet all hot water demands and this meant that they often had to be topped up with a conventional system such as, direct electric or oil. However, modern heat pumps can achieve heating and hot water temperatures of 60℃+ and can provide 100% of your heating and hot water.
It has also been common for heat pump systems to only be recommended with underfloor heating. However, modern heat pumps can run efficiently with conventional radiators at efficiencies that make them much less expensive to run that oil or gas heating. In addition, there are also highly efficient radiators, such as Jaga Strada, which can be used with heat pumps and actually offer better efficiency than underfloor heating.
A closed loop water source heat pump system will typically follow this process:
A open loop water source heat pump system will typically follow this process:
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