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Geowarmth Heat Pumps Limited

Thermal response test

Geowarmth Heat Pumps undertake thermal conductivity tests. A thermal response test measures the thermal conductivity of the ground. They are often undertaken prior to installing a closed loop ground source heat pump system using vertical boreholes.

In order to accurately predict the capacity of the ground to deliver and or store the required amount of heat or cooling energy to match the needs of a building over a long life cycle it is advisable to undertake a thermal response test in a borehole to assess the ground conditions and measure the reaction of flows through ground loops inserted in the bore hole. This is done as a continuous process over a period of around 3-4 days using Geowarmth's purpose built thermal response test rig. Data is collected on site by our technicians and then analysed and reported on by our thermogeologist to arrive at the average thermal conductivity for the bore hole.

For a proposed ground source heat pump installation a thermal response test can then be used to establish the number of boreholes required to service the heating and cooling demands of the building. Moreoever the holes used for the thermal response test can be incorporated into the borefield for the heat pump installation so they can subsequently become production holes, not just trial holes.

Thermal conductivity is arrived at by applying heat to water circulating in the closed loop pipework.

In order to size and design a borefield for a proposed ground source heat pump development, the value of thermal conductivity derived from the thermal reponse test can be used in conjunction with a borehole array design software package. The heat extraction or rejection rate per metre of borehole is approximately proportional to the ground thermal conductivity. Other factors are simulated by the design package including the thermal resistance of the borehole, the geometry and spacing of boreholes in the array (thermal interference), the thermal storage effects in the ground and the distribution of heating and cooling loads throughout the year.

Together with the thermal response test, Geowarmth is able to provide the complete borefield design service. Contact us for more information.

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