With the focus on renewable energy and clean energy increasing all the time, we look at the viability of implementing geothermal heating systems in Manchester’s commercial heating world.

It has long been passed off as an expensive and difficult operation, and has been widely disregarded as a cost effective solution. The process of extracting heat from the earth can be very costly upfront, there’s a lot of digging involved, and depending on how deep the system needs to go, a lot of materials are required. It’s an intensive operation, but many experts are heeding that we should looks at geothermal heat again.

There are of course many different ways in which to extract heat from the ground, the most popular option in the UK is a ground heat exchange. This is where a relatively shallow pit is excavated, this piping laid down much in the same way a conventional underfloor heating system would be installed. This is a great system, but it’s only really suitable for very small scale projects like housing.

For a more commercially viable solution, heat needs to be extracted from deeper in the ground, but experts are saying that as little as 10ft into the ground, the temperature can be as high as 60 degrees F. Geo systems can be up to 25% more efficient than the more conventional systems, but is this saving a big enough offset to persuade large industrial building to switch over considering the large initial outlay.

The only way we can see geothermal heating being a viable commercial heating solution in Manchester is if the material and installation costs can be reduced, otherwise we can’t see anyone wanting to fork out such a huge spend.