Ground Source Heat Pumps

How do they work?

  • Heat pumps extract ambient heat from the environment, through either ground loops containing a brine solution or from the air using a fan. This thermal energy is raised to 50°C, through a refrigerant cycle. This provides your property with an efficient source of heat and hot water.

  • Heat pumps are able to meet the needs of your home and maintain required temperatures at any time without consuming excessive amounts of energy

How does a ground source heat pump work?


Horizontal Arrays

  • Horizontally in trenches cut into the soil.

Smart Renewable Heat use straight lengths of collector pipe rather than slinky arrays. Straight pipe systems are more effective because heat collection is spread over a wide area, and they reduce the risk of cold spots in the collector system.

Horizontal Array web

Vertical Arrays

  • Vertically in boreholes drilled into the bedrock.

Installing the ground loop vertically requires less space than a horizontal array and take up minimal space at the surface. Access for plant must be considered, however, as drilling rigs are large machines and require an amount of space to operate. Back gardens are often not suitable sites for borehole installation.

Vertical Array Icon



  1. Lower your fuel bills.

  2. Maintain required temperatures at any time without consuming excessive amounts of energy.

  3. Heat pumps provide heating and hot water in a sustainable way with no need for gas safety certificates, less maintenance and lower running costs.

  4. Could provide you with income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)


How much space do I need inside to install a Ground Source Heat Pump?

Heat pumps do require more space than a wallhung boiler, and the hot water cylinder is often situated next to the heat pump rather than in an airing cupboard, so planning a dedicated area for the equipment is a good idea.

Utility rooms, garages, basements and even detached outbuildings can make a good plant room. A typical ground source system will require an area approximately 1m deep by 2m – 2.5m wide.


Do you want to know more about whether you need planning permission?

Smart Renewable Heat only supply MCS accredited heat pumps and are MCS certified installers ensuring you qualify for all available grant funding.

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