There are two main types of water source heat pump system (for basic information about heat pumps work then please click here);

Closed loop water source

Closed loop water source systems are typically the most efficient systems for heating. In order for the water source to be suitable it needs to have an appropriate volume of water e.g. a large pond or lake. If the required volume is not available then it is imperative that there is an adequate flow of water to replenish the extracted heat.

A poorly designed closed loop water source heat pump system will not run efficiently (costing you more to run) and can also lead to permanent freezing of the water source.

Water source heat pumps closed loop
OpenLoopheat pump

Open loop water source

In an open loop water source heat pump system the water is extracted from the source (typically a borehole or river) and pumped to a heat exchanger (usually close to the heat pump) before being pumped back into the water course.

Open loop systems will often require approval from the Environment Agency if they will require extraction rates over 20m3 per day. Their website contains lots of useful information on what you need to consider when planning an open loop heat pump system.

The constant source of ‘new’ water means that open loop systems are ideal for heat pump systems which have large, unbalanced heating/cooling demands.


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