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Terrestrial energy recovery using advanced stirling heat-pumps for residential temperature management (TERRA THERMA)
Start date: 15 Dec 2007, End date: 14 Dec 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Around 80% of the total domestic energy demand in Europe is used of heating and cooling, amounting to 2,600 TWh p.a, with the majority of heating provided by gas (50%). There are very few efficiency improvements to be made using conventional heaters and boilers, as most are already over 90% efficient. Therefore, alternative heating systems such as ground source heat pumps are seen as the future for heating.Heat pumps are already used in some European countries but have a number of inherent drawbacks that limit their popularity:- Existing ground source heat pumps are electrically driven, meaning retrofits to gas-based systems are harder- Electric heat pumps optimally deliver water at 50°C, which is too low for most European wet central heating systems- Ground loop heat exchangers are either very expensive (vertical bore) or very disruptive and large (horizontal trench), meaning many homes either cannot or do not wish to install them.
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