18 May 2017

P.1.2.2 Methods, processes and practices to ensure high availability of heat pumps

Heat pumps have been sold for more than three decades. Today 730 000 heat pumps are collecting more than 5 TWh of renewal energy every year in Finland. Heat pumps have been most popular heating method in new residential buildings for several years. One of the fastest growing segment is exhausted air heat recovery systems in large apartment buildings. Also in commercial buildings heat pumps have started to play significant role, especially when renovating old heating systems.
In most cases heat pumps are running in stand-alone basis. This means that in case of error there are no immediate and automatic detection mechanisms that would trigger required corrective actions such as adjusting parameters or sending serviceman on-site to fix the problem. When the heat pump error occurs, it may take hours, days or even months before someone notices that. While the heat pump is not running there are back-up energy sources such as oil, gas, electricity or district heating. Back-up power capacity may be also limited causing drop of temperature inside the building.
Heat pump errors are not that rare and usually causes loss of energy savings and dissatisfaction to people living in the building. In some cases, the financial losses have been more than 20 000 euros. This presentation describes what kind of methods, processes and practices should be taken in to use to minimize the downtime of heat pump, prevent loss of money and to maximize the satisfaction of building owners and people living in the building.