The majority of heat pumps sold within the UK are either air source or ground source however; water is another source of energy that can be used in certain circumstances. Water source systems extract the solar energy stored naturally in water and compress it to provide usable heat in buildings.
Some of the types of water sources that can be used are lakes, ponds, rivers, springs, wells or boreholes. Systems are usually classified as either ‘open’ loop, where water is drawn directly from the source, circulated through the system and then returned or ‘closed’ loop, where pipes or heat exchange panels are placed directly within the water and energy is extracted in a similar fashion to a ground source system.
Advantages of Water Source Heat Pumps:
- Using water removes the need for digging which often reduces the install cost compared to a ground source heat pump
- The heat transfer rate from water is higher than that from the ground or air making water source the most efficient heat pumps available
- Energy is constantly replaced due to the flow/circulation of the water