Ground Source Energy

We have a unique technical understanding of the issues faced in both open and closed loop ground source energy designs.

Desk Based Site Check

This preliminary Site Check determines ground suitability, in terms of thermal and hydrogeological properties, also summarising data to indicate site geology, corresponding thermal properties, local hydrology, and the hydrogeological setting.

 

From this we identify the potential for closed loop or open loop ground source energy , taking into account site area and the building’s net energy requirements. We will also identify the potential for impacts on sensitive receptors.
For new buildings this can show the likely viability and justify a detailed feasibility study to support planning applications, showing regulation compliance, or to support design stage BREEAM rating.

 

Ground Source Energy Feasibility Study

We tailor the detail of a feasibility study to the investment required, making sure higher risks associated with larger schemes are minimised by addressing all environmental and technical aspects.

 

Thermal Response Testing (TRT)

Thermal Response Tests obtain information for closed loop scheme, the feasibility of proposals and design requirements depend directly on the thermal properties of the ground and thermal resistance of borehole heat exchangers, information obtained by Thermal Response Tests.

 

Our adaptable TRT service for geothermal energy installations is managed and delivered through industry best practice and fully compliant with ASHRAE and International Ground Source Heat Pump Association standards.

 

Loop Energy Source

A well-designed ground loop energy source matching the profile of energy use is essential. Our specialised skills ensure the proposed size matches needs, taking into account the balance between winter heating and summer cooling.

 

Open Loop System

A hydrogeological conceptual model is a key foundation to good design. Our years of experience working in all UK aquifer settings makes us ideally placed to develop detailed site models to inform design, ensuring objectives are met through the appropriate location and specification of boreholes and their flow rates. We have particularly strong track record in achieving regulatory approval for major open loop systems in the Chalk aquifer in London.

 

Closed Loop System

On most schemes we base design on site specific numerical modelling to confirm long term design performance, with the layout and depths of borehole heat exchanges accounted for and long term ground temperatures predicted.

 

For larger schemes, FEFLOW modelling can be used to assess complex, layered geology and groundwater flow. All modelling circulation pump requirements are assessed using our custom head loss calculation tools, allowing the overall system performance factors to be evaluated as a key part of an integrated system design.

 

Support in Regulatory Approval

Whilst there are no formal regulatory limits, heat is defined as a pollutant so the Environment Agency must be confident of no adverse impact on the water body and its habitats.

 

Proposals for GSE schemes require regulatory approval at a number of key stages:

  • Water features survey and consent to investigate a groundwater body
  • Step test to confirm the yield available from the aquifer below the site
  • Abstraction licence (for more than 20m3/d)
  • Discharge consent for reinjection of heated or cooled water back into the aquifer or other controlled waters

Our longstanding relationship with the Environment Agency means we are experienced at managing regulatory negotiations. Coupled with involvement in many regional groundwater models, this gives us a unique position to understand regulator concerns and processes, ensuring necessary consents are obtained with minimum delay.

Please contact us for more information on our Ground Source Energy Services.