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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

30 Apr 2009 06:04:03

UK schools urged to spend on GSHP heating and cooling

UK schools urged to spend on GSHP heating and cooling
The UK government's recent announcement that £7.9 billion will be spent improving schools over the next 12 months should encourage education chiefs to invest in energy efficiency schemes.

According to green appliance manufacturer Geothermal International, the capital expenditure represents a great chance for schools to improve their heating and cooling systems.

It claimed that installing a ground source heat pump (GSHP) could reduce carbon emissions by a half, while also slashing annual building operating costs by as much as 70 percent.

Although less prevalent in the UK than biomass boilers or combined heat and power (CHP) systems, GSHPs can moderate temperatures by extracting natural heat from the ground.

Patrick Sheriff, marketing director of Geothermal International, said: "Local education authorities should seize the opportunity to reduce their carbon emissions by installing this highly effective form of heating and cooling buildings."

He suggested that GSHPs offer better "lifetime carbon savings" than CHPs, as well as boasting lower maintenance and running costs.

While relatively new to the UK, the technology has been widely deployed in other parts of the world such as North America and Europe, according to the GSHP Association.

It claims that a typical pump will capture and distribute between three and four units of heat energy for ever one unit of electrical energy required to power the system.



Discussion Thread  

02 May 2009

Ground source heat pumps are great, I installed one in my own home 4 years ago and have been reaping the benefits ever since. Similarly I can list many successful projects with which I have been involved where GSHPs as a heating source have been highly effective both technically and economically. However, GSHPs are not universally applicable to all applications and certainly cannot be viewed as a direct replacement to a traditional heating boiler (unfortunately claimed by increasing numbers of manufacturers and installers attempting I fear to cash in on the shift towards low carbon/sustainable energy sources). When considering replacing a traditional boiler with a GSHP the type of heating dsitribution and emitter (radiators etc) needs to be taken in to account for example, as do occupancy patterns of building and a raft of other factors. For new buildings where underfloor heating and high levels of thermal insulation can be achieved GSHPs get my vote, for refurbishments where underfloor heating and increased insulation can again be incorporated they are great, but for existing buildings where an existing heating boiler and distribution system/emitters (radiators etc) exist and a GSHP is being recommended as an alternative to a traditional boiler and the distribution system to be reused, extreme caution is advised.

Discussion Thread  


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