18 May 2002

B4-08 Retrofitting with heat pumps in buildings

The potential market for heat pumps for retrofit is about 3 times larger than the market for applications in new buildings. However, in most countries the actual market for retrofit heat pumps is smaller than the market for heat pumps in new buildings. Market barriers include the high temperature distribution systems, the higher challenges on the economy of the systems and other circumstances, such as lack of space.
This article discusses the market, the background of the market barriers and ways to solve them. Swiss experience has shown that current retrofit heat pumps work well, but have a 10% lower efficiency than applications in new buildings, which is quite favourable considering the the 5ºC higher average distribution temperature. The operation experience supports the conclusion that all market players can benefit by targeted action to promote heat pumps in retrofit situations.
Most results reported here have been gathered as part of the project “Retrofitting with heat pumps in buildings” of the IEA Heat Pump Centre (Eggen and Breembroek 2001).