Posts Tagged Eco House Design

Ground Source Heat Pump | Eco House Design | Part 6

Renewable Energy Source |Ground Source Heat Pump

A ground source heat pump (GSHP) is an energy efficient way of heating and cooling a dwelling. It is a central heating and cooling system that transfers heat to or from the ground. It uses the ground as heat source in winter, and heat sink in summer. This single system can produce space heating, space cooling and hot water.

Combining a ground source heat pump with active thermal insulation is an excellent option of heating a house. These two technologies are fit for each other.

A ground source heat pump is able to extract heat from the ground and concentrate it to provide heating for water or indoor areas, you can go to this site where you will find a great watering system. Some energy is required to operate the heat pump and heat exchangers. But net output of energy is greater than net input of energy. A 1 kW ground source heat pump could potentially provide heating or cooling equivalent of up to 4 kW energy.

Ground Source Heat Pump

Ground Source Heat Pump. Source:

Ground source heat pumps collect heat from up to 2m below the ground which is at a higher temperature than the surface during winter in the UK. A series of pipes are installed in the ground, known as the ground loop. A mixture of water and an antifreeze compound like glycol is pumped through these pipes. This antifreeze mix warms up as it travels in the loop, absorbing heat from the ground. Temperature difference between the fluid mix and dwelling of 3ºC to 4ºC should be enough for ground source heat pump to function effectively.

The returning warmed fluid is then fed to the heat exchanger, which in turn heats water which can then be pumped to radiators or active thermal insulation unit to heat the dwelling.

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Low Carbon House Design | Active thermal insulation and Roof Design | Part 4

Insulation : Active Thermal Insulation

‘Active thermal insulation’ will be used for achieving the thermal efficiency of the structure.

The technique of Active Thermal Insulation has been invented by Hungary, BT & Sons Ltd. Their technique involves use of the temperature of the soil for thermal insulation. The coils are applied all around the walls of the house. The coil is connected to a soil probe or a soil absorber and the liquid in that flows by using a small (50W – 70W) flow pump. This helps to minimise the heat loss of the building. It also helps to cool the interior of the house in summer and reduces the external heat load in summer. The temperature of the Earth is nearly constant +8 ° C to +12 ° C all year round. This system requires to be used in combination with the heat pump.


Active Thermal insulation

Active Thermal insulation.  The picture shows the coil runs all around the walls and the roof and is connected to the ground source heat pump.    Source:

According to the Passivhaus standard, the building needs to have super insulation with low U-value. The effectiveness of a material as an insulator in buildings is measured with the help of U-value, the lower, the better is the building performance. It is known as thermal transmittance (Shomera House Extensions, 2012).

The major benefit of using ‘Active Thermal Insulation is that same efficiency can be achieving using less thicker walls (Active thermal insulation, 2011) which means more space would be release. In Brighton, the land is expensive and an integrated construction method can be utilised to achieve both energy and space efficiency.

Walling material

Neopor cellular lightweight concrete (CLC) will be used for walls, roof and floor.  The benefits of using CLC blocks are tremendous weight reduction, high thermal insulation, optimum fire rating, substantial material saving (no gravel, little cement, less steel required in structure and foundation, easy to construct and produce, low embodied energy material). CLC blocks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes (Source:

The Neopor CLC blocks used will be 600mm x 440mm x 250mm. These are lightweight interlocking blocks. The pipe coil is placed in part of the CLC block filled with concrete in a way such that the thicker insulated part of the brick is placed at the interior of the building and the thinner insulated part remains exposed to the exterior with active thermal insulation at work.

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