22 May 2008

GUIDELINES, STANDARDS, CERTIFICATION AND LEGAL PERMITS FOR GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION


The paper gives a review on dedicated guidelines and standards for the thermal
use of ground and groundwater with heat pumps. Such documents currently exist only in
countries with a mature Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) market, like Germany,
Switzerland, and Sweden. The topics covered are, among others:
– design and sizing of the ground part
– installation of horizontal loops, borehole heat exchangers, groundwater wells, etc.
– environmental issues for protection of soil and groundwater
The first EN standard to explicitly include some GSHP technology is EN 15450. Beside technical
standards issued by associations and by standards organisations, also guidelines and
regulations issued by national or regional authorities have to be observed. These regulations
typically concern the environmental part, and the rights of land owners to use the ground beneath
their lots. The paper discusses the role of certain standards as a support, but sometimes
also as a barrier to widespread application of GSHP technology. A certain harmonisation
and the establishing of EU-wide standards needs to be considered.