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Natural ground heat used to save energy and money

Two new building projects are using heat from the ground to achieve cuts in energy bills.

Harrogate Borough Council has started work installing ground-source heat pumps at 24 properties at Ripon in North Yorkshire. Under the scheme, heat pumps are sunk 50m into the ground. Tubes are surrounded with bentonite to conduct heat from the ground to the water in the tube.

The water is then compressed by the pump for use in radiators.

Groundsource Drilling has been awarded the contract to drill the boreholes for the heating system.

Eight homes were fitted with it last year and residents are reporting annual heating bills as low as £120. The council aims to install the system at 100 council homes by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, building work has started on the Keyworth II development at Southbank University, which will feature what is claimed to be the largest geothermal energy pile of its type in London.

Under the system designed by consultant Faber Maunsell, geothermal loops will be integrated into the piles for the 9000m2 building, which will house the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

The geothermal energy pile system will use the constant temperature of the ground beneath the building (10°C to 14°C) to heat it.

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