Background

In the last 10 years, energy efficiency was an important optimization goal for heat pump development ranging from advanced heat exchangers, inverter controlled compressors, sub-coolers and economizers to increase COP to smart controllers. With increasing spread of digitalization in the years to come, heat pumps will also be designed for smart demand response. Thereby, they will provide real time energy efficiency, flexible use of electricity, optimized load profile and an optimized compromise concerning comfort and operation costs. Heat pumps will become connected devices participating in the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices are equipped with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity and collect and exchange data. The benefit of IoT enabled heat pumps is to analyze the collected data and make a wise use of it. Heat pumps with IoT technology allow for further decarbonization of heat supply, as they provide the best way to transfer wisely available (renewable) energy into household comfort and industrial services.

Objective:

In this Annex, opportunities and challenges of IoT enabled heat pumps will be elaborated. Connected devices will play a major role in the future addressing multiple aims, such as increased comfort for the user, reduction in energy consumption and decarbonization of heat supply. The results of the Annex will be disseminated to relevant target groups such as OEM, heat pump manufacturers, associations and regulatory authorities by means of tailored messages. The Annex will thereby provide guidance, data and knowledge about heat pumping technologies with respect to IoT applications. The Annex will increase knowledge at different levels (OEMs, heat pump manufacturers, consultants, installers, legislators, etc.). It will contribute to the development of future standards.

Heat pumps for household and commercial applications are serial products that are sold in large quantities by heat pump manufacturers. IoT enabled heat pumps provide data that can be used for preventive analytics, such as what-if analysis for operation decisions, predictive maintenance, fine-tuning of the operation parameters and benchmarking. IoT enabled heat pumps can be used for smart demand response to reduce peak load and/or to optimize electricity consumption as a function of the electricity price. IoT enabled heat pump can also be integrated in the building energy management (BEM).

By contrast, industrial heat pumps are usually planned, manufactured and installed on a project-specific basis by contractors and installers. Digitalization in industry can range from automated equipment, advanced process control systems to connected supply value chains. IoT enabled heat pumps allow for integration in the process control system and a higher-level energy management system, which can be used for overall optimization of the process.

Activities:

Within the Annex, three central topics will be elaborated:

  • Interfaces
  • Data analysis
  • Services

Aim of the Annex:

  • Contributions to the strategic goals of the IEA HPT TCP
  • Contributions to the strategic goals of the IEA
  • Provide guidance
  • Increase knowledge at different levels (OEMs, heat pump manufacturers, IoT platforms, consultants, installers, legislators, etc.)
  • Establish a knowledge base for IoT enabled heat pumps
  • Contribute to future standards
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