Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy that harnesses the heat stored in the Earth or groundwater. Geothermal heat pumps are a highly efficient way of heating and cooling buildings, utilizing the stable temperature of the Earth's subsurface. One lesser-known form of geothermal systems, in addition to vertical, is the horizontal ground collector.

If we want to install a geothermal heat pump in our building, the installation of a horizontal (or vertical) ground collector is necessary. A geothermal heat pump is a device that utilizes the heat stored in the ground or groundwater for heating and cooling a building. It operates similarly to a conventional heat pump but instead extracts thermal energy from the ground (via vertical or horizontal ground collectors) or from groundwater (via wells). At KRONOTERM, we have developed the ETERA geothermal heat pump, which is modular, highly efficient, minimalist, environmentally friendly, and has an exceptionally long lifespan. You can find more information here.

What is a horizontal ground collector?

A horizontal ground collector is a system of pipes buried horizontally in the ground. These pipes are typically filled with a refrigerant that absorbs heat from the ground. This heat is then transferred to the geothermal heat pump, which heats or cools the spaces.

Installation process of a horizontal ground collector

Installing a horizontal ground collector requires a sufficiently large area of land for proper burying of the pipes and to achieve the system’s effectiveness. It is recommended to allocate approximately 1.5 to 2 m2 of land for each square meter of heated building space for collector installation. The installation is carried out by approved contractors of KRONOTERM, who have extensive experience in this field. And how does it proceed?

  • Before installation, a proper geological analysis of the area is conducted to determine the suitability of the land for collector installation. It is essential to consider soil composition, layer thickness, water permeability, and other factors that may affect system efficiency.
  • If the land is suitable for installing a horizontal ground collector, the site is prepared. This includes vegetation removal, surface cleaning, and excavation of trenches or pits where the pipes are laid.
  • The pipes are laid in trenches or pits at a specified depth, usually between 1.2 and 1.8 meters below the soil surface. The pipes are interconnected in loops to facilitate the flow of the refrigerant.
  • After pipe installation, a system test is conducted to check for tightness and proper refrigerant flow through the collector. Groundwater testing is also performed to determine its temperature and heat transfer capacity.

Once the system is verified and operational, trenches or pits are backfilled, and the surface is restored, following safety regulations, environmental standards, and building codes.


Artboard 23

Who is the horizontal ground collector suitable for?

Horizontal ground collectors are most commonly used in individual houses and smaller commercial buildings, but they are also suitable for larger structures such as schools, kindergartens, office buildings, etc. They are particularly well-suited for areas with sufficient available land for pipe installation, especially during ongoing construction, as we believe that environmental intervention is less disruptive at that time. The geothermal heat pump powered by a horizontal ground collector can provide heating, cooling, or domestic hot water, contributing to increased energy efficiency of the entire system.

Advantages of a horizontal ground collector

Lower installation costs. Installing a horizontal ground collector is typically more cost-effective compared to a vertical one since it requires fewer materials and less intensive labor.

Energy efficiency. The earth maintains a stable temperature throughout the year, enabling efficient utilization of geothermal energy. Horizontal ground collectors provide a stable heat source for the geothermal heat pump, enhancing the system’s energy efficiency.

Environmental friendliness. Geothermal systems do not emit harmful CO2 emissions, contributing to a reduced carbon footprint of the building and environmental conservation. When the ground collector is properly installed, heat extraction is minimal, maintaining consistent ground temperature regardless of the season. If you choose to plant vegetation above the collector, it’s advisable to select plant types that adapt well to your local conditions and have smaller roots to avoid compromising the collector.

Long lifespan. Horizontal ground collectors are typically buried underground, protecting them from external influences. This longevity and minimal maintenance requirement result from their protected location.

Simpler permits and regulations. In some cases, obtaining permits and complying with regulatory requirements may be easier for the installation of a horizontal ground collector, as it is less invasive and does not require deep excavations or drilling compared to a vertical ground collector.

In summary, horizontal ground collectors are an efficient and environmentally friendly way to harness geothermal energy for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water preparation. With a stable ground temperature, they provide a consistent heat source for the geothermal heat pump. Horizontal ground collectors are suitable for buildings with sufficient available land, enabling energy-efficient heating, cooling, and long-term energy cost savings.

If you would like a worry-free heating system for your home, need additional information, or seek personal advice, contact us at or at 03 703 16 20.

Tags: , ,