Rivers and lakes, heated by the sun, are a source of renewable heat that can be used in homes and businesses. To transfer the heat, a device called a water-source heat pump is used, powered by a small amount of electricity.
Using heat naturally available in water dramatically reduces the amount of other energy needed to heat a building, typically by around 80%. As a result, water-source heat pumps provide affordable heating with a very small carbon footprint.
Because they’re so environmentally friendly, the UK government even pays an incentive for all heat delivered in this way. This gives water-source heat pump projects a quick financial payback.
A water-source heat pump benefits from the following:
|High efficiency||Compared with other heat pumps, water-source systems have a very high efficiency, with a ‘Coefficient of Performance’ (CoP) of around 5. This means every unit of electricity delivers 5 units of heat to the building.|
|Quick financial payback||Typical payback period of less than 5 years for domestic, or less than 10 years for larger projects.|
|No boreholes or large trenches||Unlike ground-source heat pumps, water-source systems don’t require any deep excavations and the collector area is much smaller.|
|Low energy consumption||Only a small amount of electricity is required, the remaining energy all comes from the natural heat present in the water source.|
|Small carbon footprint||And by using electricity from renewable sources, the carbon footprint can be reduced even further!|
|Eligible for government incentives||The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) supports almost all water-source heat pump projects.|
|Works well with other heating systems||Ideal for retrofit alongside conventional gas boiler, solar thermal and other heating systems. It’s also possible to use a thermal store to improve performance in winter.|
|Works well with on-site generation||Using electricity generated on-site, such as from wind, solar or hydropower, can improve the project finances. Battery storage may also help to reduce running costs.|
|Can provide both heating and cooling||Some Heat Pump models are well-suited to cooling, including air conditioning. Reversible heat pumps can even alternate between heating and cooling if necessary.|
|Quiet, long-lasting operation||Water-source heat pumps are quieter and have a longer lifetime than air or ground source heat pumps. Servicing is very straightforward – similar to a conventional gas boiler.|
|It’s the future, here today!||Renewable heating is a vital step in decarbonisation: space heating and hot water accounts for almost 35% of the UK’s total energy use.|
There are only a few limitations:
- Requires a source of water nearby (within a few hundred metres)
- Requires mains electricity power supply, the same as any other heating system, except a log wood stove
- Requires environmental consents
Are you considering a water source heat pump project in the UK, Ireland or overseas?
The first step to develop a water source heat pump project is to conduct a full feasibility study.
Contact us about a feasibility study today!
Once complete, you will understand the site potential and be guided through the next steps to develop your project.