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New GSHP Industry Standards

The following standards and guidelines represent major initiatives to drive up quality standards in the Ground Source Heating Industry.

Consumer confidence in our industry is essential to its long term growth and profitability.

Unfortunately, as with many emerging and "fashionable" technologies, the standard of implementation across the industry and country is, at best, variable with some companies cutting corners and botching installations, sometimes through simple ignorance or inexperience, sometimes simply to make a fast profit.

There are though, companies, like ours, who wish to achieve the best possible standards for the client. These are the companies that will strive to adopt the new standards.

Should you wish to obtain government funding contributions for your geothermal heat pump project, it is essential that you read carefully, and adhere to, the standards referred to below. Failure to do this will simply result in your application for government funding being refused.

Synergy Boreholes and Systems Ltd. endeavors to adhere to the highest standards of operation when drilling, installing and commissioning geothermal borehole arrays.

We therefore welcome the introduction of new industry standards such as MIS 3005.

The majority of the provisions and requirements in this issue deal with the installation of the air/water/ground source heat pump unit, so do not apply directly to us as borehole array providers. 

There are however, passages which detail the requirements that we should meet and the working values that we should use. 

These are to be found primarily in sections 4.2.11 to 4.2.19 , 4.5.2 and 3 and Appendix C. as well as the supplementary ground loop look up tables.

We will strive to meet and comply with these standards in order to give our clients the assurance that the borehole systems that we install will perform satisfactorily for decades to come.

This new document will undoubtedly be refined over time. We will be compliant with the current requirements as soon as possible and in advance of many of our competitors.

The latest full version of these standards can be seen by clicking here

To see the supplementary ground loop look up table, click here

All of this may seem a little overcomplicated. In truth, it is not as simple as some heat pump salesmen, (or even some borehole drillers) may make it sound. Some of the more common pitfalls are listed here

The most relevant passages of the MIS 3005 standards; Borehole array design parameters, materials, test procedures etc. are given here (Starts on page 19 of MIS 3005)

4.2.11 Designing ground heat exchangers is a complex engineering problem. If insufficient information is available to accurately design a ground heat exchanger, the installer shall adopt a conservative approach. For systems which require the heating capacity found in section 4.2.1 c) to be ≥30kW or incorporate ground loop replenishment through cooling or otherwise, the installer should undertake the design process making use of specialist recognised design tools and/or seek advice from an expert.

Synergy Note: Below 30 kW heat pump capacity, it is permitted to estimate borehole requirement using the tables provided in the MIS 3005. Above 30 kW you really need a professional design by a qualified and accredited designer, Synergy will be glad to help you with this.

4.2.13  An accurate assessment of the temperature of the thermal transfer fluid entering the heat pump. The temperature of the thermal transfer fluid entering the heat pump shall be designed to be >0 Deg.C at all times for 20 years.

Synergy Note: This is a new and most important design parameter requirement - must be adhered to!

GSHPA Vertical Borehole Standard

The first to be published is the GSHPA Vertical Borehole Standard which covers Closed Loop Vertical Borehole: Design, Installation & Materials Standards under the following headings:

  • Government and regulatory agency requirements
  • Design and installation - training requirements
  • Design methods and compliance
  • Thermal response testing of the ground
  • Ground heat exchange materials and sizing
  • Pipes, joints, methods and materials
  • Grouts
  • Testing of ground heat exchange loops
  • Thermal transfer fluids
  • Design drawings and records