Project background

A team put together by Carbon Zero Consulting and RSK Geosciences carried out feasibility studies for the first and second batch of schools identified in the Education Sustainability Strategy for the replacement of gas boilers with ground source heat pumps (GSHP). The energy needs for heating and hot water, the pattern of energy use and the footprint and constraints of the land available for GSHPs were provided by the client.

Best practice

Using best practice methods set out by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, RSK’s team of experienced geologists and hydrogeologists weighed up the potential for retrieving heat stored in underlying soil and rocks (a closed-loop solution) versus the suitability of the underlying rocks (aquifers) to provide a sustainable groundwater supply to support an open-loop solution.

Understanding drilling risks

An assessment of drilling risks was undertaken to identify the potential for subsidence, unexploded ordnance, artesian groundwater conditions and existing contamination. An understanding of drilling risks enabled RSK to recommend suitable borehole drilling and installation techniques.

Next stage

Further recommendations were made to refine the assessment where necessary, including thermal response tests to measure site-specific thermal properties. The next stage would be to use the EED or GLHEPro model package to identify borehole array scenarios.

Qualified staff

RSK has the personnel and associates available to carry out all aspects of this detailed work and is able to perform GSHP system installation and maintenance.

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