How best can ground source heat pumps be deployed in a public sector context?

  • Ross Martin DONALDSON

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Geothermal heat exchange technology is well established, however its use as avalid renewable energy technology in the urban environment has not yet been fully developed. The mining legacy in Scotland, in tandem with regeneration opportunities through brownfield land, represents a significant opportunity where the use of geothermal energy and ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) can be fully explored for the provision of renewable heating. With the demand for space heating and hot water in the UK making up a large portion (40%) of the overall UK energy use mix, the Government run Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme goes a long way towards making many projects involving renewable energy technologies economically viable and so reducing carbon emissions. The published research within this thesis shows that the RHI alone does not fully incentivise renewable heating deployment and this work examines how other new strategies can be applied. Looking beyond the RHI as one of the main economic mechanisms for installing renewable energy technologies has identified fuel poverty as an important social factor to consider for renewable heating deployment using GSHPs. A demonstrated relationship between social housing and the proximity to brownfield land shows an increased opportunity for the use of GSHPs to meet the domestic heating energy demand for people where the cost of energy might be an issue. This is important when it is estimated that 1 in 5 households in the UK are in fuel poverty. To examine the viability of this proposal, a dynamic energy simulation model is completed for a social housing tower block and this energy demand is met through a modelled GSHP system, using a neighbouring vacant land parcel. The research results within this thesis suggest that an integrated policy approach can serve to improve renewable heating deployment alongside fuel poverty reduction.
Date of Award8 May 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsBRE Trust
SupervisorRichard Lord (Supervisor) & Elsa João (Supervisor)

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