Technologies and environmental impacts of ground heat exchangers in Finland
Finland is one of the northernmost countries utilizing ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). In this north European country, GSHPs’ operating conditions are characterized by the cold climate, and hard, crystalline bedrock. Environmental risks and technical problems with ground heat exchangers (GHEs) have been much discussed, but the frequency of complications has not been previously studied in Finland. This article examines the types and construction practices of GHEs, and the range of problems in GHEs experienced by the practitioners. The data was collected through a questionnaire study among Finnish GSHP practitioners, and thematic interviews of Finnish heat pump experts. Borehole heat exchangers (BHEs) proved to be the most popular GHE type in Finland with a share of 85%. The questionnaire responses indicate that the most common complications in BHEs are connected to collapsed boreholes, and artesian or otherwise abundant water yields. Also, issues relating to heat transfer fluids, drilling through multiple aquifers, and design errors are discussed.
- Rinnakkaistallenteet