Help with geothermal underfloor heating

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Northern Boy
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Help with geothermal underfloor heating

Post: #204320 Northern Boy
Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:27 pm

I'm not sure this is the best place to ask about this but I don't really know where else to go.

We live in a rented barn conversion. The landlords had the "foresight" to put in geothermal underfloor heating....... but it's crap. It is incredibly expensive and doesn't work (January we spent 300 quid on electricity, 280 quid on coal for the pretty but useless open fire and we were still freezing).

I have pressed the landlords for help but they're not especially motivated to "fix" it, having lived here themselves and paid the huge electricity bills they just seem to think this is normal (and warned us it was "a bit expensive").

I am sure it can't be..... can it? All I know is that is is a geothermal system that runs off a heat pump but appears to be "topped up" by an electric immersion heater. It was supplied by "geothermal international". We tried all sorts of operating combinations, knowing that it needs to "get to temperature" over a few days but the system just couldn't cope. It was just using mountains of electricity and couldn't even keep the house at 11 deg C. I know that it does "work" because occasionally the floor would get warm, but it just couldn't keep the house warm.

Does anyone have any advice or tips for this sort of system? Is there an obvious fault that is common to these systems?

We were hoping to move out during the summer but this isn't going to happen now and we're looking at another winter here, now with a >1yr old, so we really need to get it sorted!And I am useless at this sort of thing.

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fruitcake
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Re: Help with geothermal underfloor heating

Post: #204322 fruitcake
Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:01 pm

Hi NB
Not got Geothermal heating myself but know a lot of peeps who do - I'm assuming it is a ground source heat pump.
I'm afraid everyone with GSHP that I've spoken to reported massive heating bills this winter - you don't say if the pipework for it is vertical or horizontal but both suffered from being ineffecitve last winter - this was due to the long cold period. GSHP works by taking warmth from the ground / rock around the pipework and as there was no way of reheating the ground then the pipework constantly drew 'colder' and colder' 'warmth' from the ground - hope that vaguely makes sense - I'm not an engineer but i have had an engineer explain this to me and this is my interpretation....

Your wee pump then has to work extra hard - more leccie and then as the temp in the ground gets progressively colder there is no heat sink for it to draaw from and you electric imersion heater will have kicked in.

prob not what you were wanting to hear I'm afraid.....

I'd get in some extra thermals :shaking:

Northern Boy
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Re: Help with geothermal underfloor heating

Post: #204425 Northern Boy
Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:17 pm

Not what I wanted to hear but it is what I expected! I think the pipework is vertical.

I guess we just need to get out. Anyone want to sell a smallholding in South Wales!?

DanHamilton
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Re: Help with geothermal underfloor heating

Post: #212719 DanHamilton
Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:32 am

Geothermal energy produces about 10% of New Zealand's electricity supply and hydroelectric power accounts for 70%.
We are very fortunate here. We also have a small population. Underfloor heating is more common in the newer houses.Compared to northern Europe the climate is mild. So thats mostly in the southern parts.

dave45
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Re: Help with geothermal underfloor heating

Post: #212737 dave45
Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:39 am

Get yourself a decent woodburner/dual fuel burner - far more efficient than open fires... so you can take it with you


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