Closed loop water source
Closed loop water source systems are typically the most efficient systems for heating. For the water source to be suitable it needs to have an appropriate volume of water, like a large pond or lake. If the required volume is not available it is imperative there is an adequate flow of water to replenish the extracted heat.
A poorly designed closed loop water source heat pump system will be inefficient, have high running costs and lead to permanent freezing of the water source.
Open loop water source
An open loop water source heat pump system extracts the water from the source, typically a borehole or river which is pumped to a nearby heat exchanger before being pumped back into the water course.
Open loop systems will often require approval from the Environment Agency if extraction rates over 20m3 per day are required. The website contains lots of useful information on what to consider when planning an open loop heat pump system.
The constant source of ‘new’ water means open loop systems are ideal for heat pump systems, which have large, unbalanced heating/cooling demands.
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