Demonstration of heat pump systems would be an efficient way of communicating the potential of the technology, promoting top-of-the-line [state of the art] heat pump systems and also improving existing guidelines for selection, design and installation of systems. Demonstration of best available heat pump technology is a way to achieve further acceptance for the technology and, in that way, to increase take-up in new markets. It is important that information about different heat pump systems should be accessible, analysed and presented in a harmonised way. The ongoing work with the IEA Road Map has shown that there is a lack of such information on heat pumps from the IEA Heat Pump Programme member countries.

The operational performance of heat pumps (COP) is often given as that measured under steady-state operating conditions and at full capacity. These conditions do not always reflect the performance of heat pumps operating in real heating systems. The efficiency of a heat pump system is influenced by how the heat pump is connected to the system, by the system design and by the operating temperature of the heating system. This means that the design of the heat pump system, and the quality of the installation, will strongly influence the final efficiency of the heat pump system.

Field measurements of heat pump systems have been performed in previous years in different countries and by different institutes and companies. It is always a challenge, and sometimes impossible, to compare results from field measurements with each other. The quality of the measurements can vary, the system boundaries for the heat pump systems might be defined differently, and the uncertainty of measurement can be very high or not sufficiently well defined. It is most important that it should be possible for data measured in different studies to be compared, in order to determine the potentials of different types of heat pump systems in real world installations. In addition, there is a lack of a harmonised way to present the results, which should also be easy to understand by persons having only limited knowledge of heat pumps.

The aim of this project is to demonstrate and disseminate the economic, energy and environmental potentials of heat pumping technology. The focus will be on best available technology, and results from existing field measurements will be used to calculate energy savings and CO2 reduction. It should be possible to predict the most suitable heat source and heat pump system for particular applications. In order to draw the right conclusions, it is most important that the quality of the measurements should be assured. The criteria for good and assured quality will be defined in the project.

The results from existing field measurements will also be used to calculate the electricity consumption and energy savings, compared to alternative ways of heating, for a given heat pump system. These figures can then be compared with predicted figures for such a system, based on input from laboratory tests, climatic data and heating demand, generated from Annex 39.

Although operating conditions in real installations cannot be controlled in the same way as in a laboratory, there is still a need to verify that systems are running satisfactorily under realistic (real world) conditions.

An additional outcome of this project is to develop a database from existing field measurements, using a common method to express performance values such as seasonal efficiency and energy savings. The database will be linked to the IEA Heat Pump Centre’s website, and will be continuously updated with new information after conclusion of the project.  The overall idea is to make tailor-made, easy-to-understand information on heat pumps, with the aim of collecting good examples from all IEA HPP member countries that can be used in the process to promote further deployment of the technology.