What is a heat pump?
A short description of a heat pump is a “mechanical solar collector”. It extracts FREE solar energy from the surrounding air and increases its temperature for heating purposes. It requires just 1kW of electrical input in order to generate 3kW – 5kW of heating output. Heat pump systems are therefore 3 – 5 times more efficient than electric in-line boilers or gas boilers.
Unlike solar roof panels that require the sun to shine, heat pumps only require circulation of air. A heat pump will therefore deliver FREE energy at night and even at outdoor temperatures below 0º Celsius. Another advantage is that a heat pump will not interfere with the design esthetics of your roof. A heat pump looks like an air conditioner outdoor unit. The increasing popularity of these heating systems is reflected by their overwhelming successful application in cold climates such as Scandinavia. The market for heat pumps is growing due to increasing awareness of the systems obvious benefits. You will also reduce your carbon footprint you leave behind for future generations to deal with.
3 – 5 times more efficient than electric in-line boilers or gas boilers.
What is Geothermal heating?
Conventional (air – water) heat pumps absorb energy from outside ambient air, and heats water for your water based under floor heating system. Correct positioning is of vital importance, in order to absorb maximum available energy.
Geothermal (water – water) heat pumps absorb free energy that is in the ground. It is super quiet as it does not require a fan to move ambient air across the absorption mechanism as in the case of a conventional heat pump. Unlike conventional heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps can be installed inside.
Average minimum winter temperatures in Johannesburg drop down to 4°C, and even lower in severe cases. Significantly less free energy is therefore available than underground where temperature remains at 15°C, day and night. Geothermal heat pumps are therefore considered as the most efficient, quietest and least obtrusive methods of collecting free energy from mother earth.
3 popular methods for extracting free energy from the ground:
- Horizontal loop system: A network of tubes is installed in trenches, backfilled and a garden established on top.
- Vertical loop system: Where lack of available garden space exists, boreholes are sunk, vertical loops installed and backfilled.
- Ground source water: Water from a dam, river or well point is typically warmer that ambient night time temperatures and therefore contain more free energy.