On August 8-9 the 2018 China heat Pump Annual Conference & 7th International Air-source Heat Pump Development Forum took place in Hangzhou in China. The event attracted more than 600 participants, representing industry, academia as well as policy makers. In the introduction of the conference Professor Xu Wei from CABR (China Academy for Building Research) talked about the ambitious Clean Heating Policy in Northern China which means that by 2019, half of the Northern China shall have converted to clean heating, by 2021, the converting rate shall be 70%, and coal burning shall be reduced by 74 million tons. This shall be achieved by adopting clean heating methods based on local conditions, such as geothermal and electric heating, mainly by application of heat pumps, biomass heating, solar heating, gas heating and clean coal fired central heating, in combination with improving overall heating network efficiency and energy efficiency retrofitting of buildings. Professor Xu Wei also announced that China will soon be a member of the Technology Collaboration Programme on Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP)!
During the conference market figures for air-source heat pumps in China were presented. They revealed that the sales value for air-source heat pumps in China reached 185 billion Chinese yuan in 2017, which means that this value has tripled since 2013 and increased by almost 60 % since 2016. The number of sold air-to-water heat pumps in China is now in the same order of magnitude as the European market for this heat pump type. The figures showed that in previous years the air-to-water heat pumps were mainly installed to produce domestic hot water but since last year share of heat pumps used for clean space heating is larger than the share for domestic hot water. The presentations showed during the conference showed many examples of heat pump installations with numerous identical heat pumps installed on the roof of or on the ground beside multifamily buildings. In addition, components and system solutions were presented.
The strongest selling argument for heat pumps in China is that they “preserve the blue skies”, i.e. they contribute to reducing the particle emissions in the cities and rural areas. During discussions with conference attendants, several of them witnessed that in areas in Northern China where there has been a massive replacement of local coal boilers by air-source heat pumps an improvement of the air quality in winter time has already been noted. Other reasons for policy makers to stimulate the application of heat pumping technology are that it contributes to energy efficiency and renewable energy targets.
Caroline Haglund Stignor from Heat Pump Centre was invited to the conference to talk about the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme on Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP), Ecodesign, Energy Labelling and test standards for air-source heat pumps in Europe. Representatives from Heat Pump Centre have presented the HPT TCP and talked about the technology at the last annual heat pump conferences in China and it is very satisfying, first to see that the number of attendees has increased steadily with the growing heat pump market and last, but not least, that China will now join the collaboration within the HPT TCP!