Opening of the 13th IEA Heat Pump Conference “Heat pumps – Mission for the Green World”

On April 26 the 13th IEA Heat Pump Conference was opened. This is a hybrid onsite-online event. There are about 100 national Korean conference attendees onsite at Ramada Plaza Hotel Jeju in Korea, and in addition, about 260 international participants who attend online.

The conference was opened by Stephan Renz, the Chairman of the Technology Collaboration Programme on Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP) by IEA, who held a welcome address, when he welcomed the participants, gave a brief introduction about the programme and acknowledged those who have contributed to the organization of the conference. Thereafter, Min Soo Kim, the Chairman of the National Organizing Committee held an opening remark when he told the audience that more than 200 papers were going to be presented during the days to follow. In addition, Won Hee-ryong (Governor of Jeju Province) gave a congratulatory address to the conference organizers.

For the plenary speech, six invited speakers from all continents gave their vision on the development of heat pumping technologies.

Mechthild Worsdorfer, IEA Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks talked about “Heat Pumping Technologies in Clean Energy Transitions”. She outlined the three key priorities for heat pumping technologies as IEA see it – deployment across all relevant applications, integration to existing buildings and power systems and that heat pumps should be enhanced to be multi services providers. She also stated that in 2070 heat pumps need to become the market norm for heating equipment and that heat pumps could an and need to be flexibility providers to reach the sustainable development scenario.

Martin Forsén, the President of EHPA told the audience about “the European Legal Framework, which he reported to be well set for a massive roll-out of heat pumps, even though more efforts still are needed to realise this rapid deployment of the technology. Among other things he talked about how the recognition of the technology in European policies had developed during the two last decades. In 2020 the technology was barely mentioned in the EPBD directive, in 2009 the heat pumps were defined as a renewable technology in the Renewable Energy Directive and in 2020, in the Energy System Integration Strategy, heat pumps are described as the most important technology for decarbonisation of buildings. The share of electric based heat is expected to become 40% by 2030 and 50-70% by 2050.

Min Soo Kim, President of SAREK (Society of Air-conditioning and Refrigerating Engineers of Korea) talked about “Korean policy for a green world and heat pumping technologies”. He talked about the Korea New Deal, launched in July 2020, consisting of the Digital New Deal and the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal aims at accelerating towards a transition towards a low-carbon and eco-friendly economy and includes Green Transition of Infrastructure, Low-carbon Decentralized Energy and Innovation in the Green Industry. Examples of activities that will be promoted is integration of more renewable electricity in the grid from solar and wind, the set-up of intelligent smart grid systems for energy conservation and building of smart industries were waste heat are reused. The vision of Korea is to be carbon neutral by 2050 and Min Soo Kim concluded his presentation by stating that heat pumps are essential to the success of the Green New Deal as they can dramatically save heating and cooling energy.

Saikee Oh, Vice President of LG Electronics, Korea held a presentation about “Heat Pump System Technology Trend”. He talked about, current trends in cutting edge technologies to increase the operating range of air source heat pumps to lower ambient temperatures, such as technologies to increase the maximum pressure ratio of compressors, to apply high heating capacity cycles and technologies to enhance oil reliability. In addition, he emphasized that heat pumps are a promising alternative in a wide variety of applications such as home appliances and industrial applications.

Xudong Wang, Vice President of AHRI, USA talked about “Ensuring a Safe Refrigerant Transition”. Such a transition involves regulations, trends, codes and standards compliances, training and stakeholder buy-ins and the presentation explored how the American industry deals with this transition. The content covered the current status on relevant code and standard development, research performed and remaining efforts needed in the transition to low-GWP refrigerants in the future.

Noboru Kagawa, Professor of National Defense Academy, Japan held the final plenary lecture presentation, on the topic “Clean and Safe Air by HVAC systems – Laws and Advanced Technologies in Japan”. Experience of health problems and pandemics changes the design of HVAC systems frequently. Accumulated knowledge which can improve the HVAC technologies and related laws and new technologies in Japan was overviewed. One example was energy efficient heat recovery in ventilation systems applying heat pumping technologies in combination with desiccant systems.

After the opening and plenary sessions, the conference proceeded with a extensive program consisting of three parallell tracks, during three days, including in total 36 sessions with oral presentations and 36 poster presentations.

It is still possible to register for the conference and take part of all the prerecorded presentation online until April 29 2021, at