There are all sorts of reasons for the rise in the use of alternative energy sources. Heat pumps use the energy nature gives us for free so it’s much more eco-friendly and cheaper than conventional carbon-based fuels.
The ground, in particular, is a giant energy store. The sun’s heat is stored all year round just a few meters below the surface. Ground Source heat pumps make use of this stored energy. An alternative to ground source are Water Source heat pumps which use the energy stored in lakes, wells or streams.
The energy stored in the ambient air is also suitable for heating rooms and for producing hot water. Heat pumps operate efficiently even at low ambient temperatures. Up to 75 percent of your heating needs can be obtained directly from the environment and for free. So, only 25 percent needs to be added through conventional electricity.
The advantages of using environmental heat as an energy source:
- No CO2 or particle emissions and reduced impact on the environment
- Inexhaustible source of energy
- Reduced dependence on external energy suppliers
- Low heating costs
- Good insulation of your building
- Larger radiators or underfloor heating for a low-temperature system
Ground source heat pumps draw energy from the ground. This can be done in two ways. The first method uses the heat close to the surface where the year-round temperature is almost uniform. Ground collectors are installedat a depth of 1.5m and these extract the ground heat.
The alternative method is heat extraction using space-saving bore holes. Special ground probes extract heat from as far as 100 metres deep into the earth, where the temperature is constantly 10°C all year long.
The advantages of geothermal heat:
- Good heat storage
- Year-round temperatures of 7-10 °C
- Open access land area (if using a surface collector)
- Geological survey
- Permission may be required
Energy source: Groundwater
Heat pumps can draw heat from water. The temperature of the water is constant regardless of the season and the outside temperature. Extracting heat from water requires access to lakes, wells or streams.
The advantages of using groundwater:
- Very efficient
- Good heat storage: maintains a temperature of 7-12°C on icy winter days
What you’ll need:
- Permission to construct a well and access the water source
- Access to high-quality groundwater deficient in minerals and lime
- An extraction licence may be required
Energy source: ambient air
Heat pumps can use the ambient air and make use of the stored energy to provide heating. Our modern heat pumps operate economically to produce heating even with an outside air temperature of as low as -15°C.
The advantages of using ambient air:
- Excellent availability due to free access to the energy source
- One of the lowest investment costs for heat pumps
- Particularly suitable for modern low energy or well-insulated properties
What you’ll need:
- Suitable site for the outdoor unit
What should you choose?
There are many factors that influence which energy source and what type of heat pump system is best suited for you. There are different acquisition and operating costs for each type, and the individual heat pumps also differ in terms of permits, promotion, and the requirements of the building.
There is no standard solution when searching for the right heat pump system. But it’s not difficult to find the system that fits your needs. Your local Vaillant Advance Renewable Installers will be able to assist you in planning the optimum heating system.
Find a Vaillant Renewable installer
Permits and subsidies
Whether you need a permit depends on the type of heat pump and your location.
Find out more about the regulatory requirements for heat pumps
In many cases you will be entitled to government funding assistance to support your alternative energy installation. Find out how you can enjoy the maximum funding.
Find out more about funding and saving money
This might interest you:
Heat pump technology
Available energy sources
How different technologies work