18 May 2017
The rising share of heat pumps in residential heating and cooling provokes increasing demands on future
electrical power distribution networks. High penetration of heat pumps in low voltage grids might lead to
network congestions and subsequent to the necessity of reinforcing a significant share of our existing grids in
future. To use the existing infrastructure efficiently, some distribution system operators already offer special grid
tariffs to customers that operate their heat pump grid friendly by avoiding operation during peak hours. On the
other hand, in future customers may want to operate their heat pump marked driven to save energy costs.
Especially a market driven operation of heat pumps might lead to high coincidence factors in energy
consumption in low voltage grids with high heat pump penetrations.
This paper compares different heat pump operation strategies based on electrical power flow simulations
coordinated with simulations of heat pump operation and the resulting impact on the customers comfort zones
(room and hot water temperature). These operation strategies are applied in different penetration scenarios on
three Austrian low voltage grids and simulated for typical days in winter with high heating demand. The
resulting grid loading, voltages and the impact on the operational coincidence factor of heat pumps will be
compared, and the pros and cons of the different operational strategies are discussed.