European Heat Pump News 2011-02

| Heat pumps are « smart grid ready » !

The key idea of the Smart grid concept is to balance supply and demand patterns and to optimize the electric grid for the accommodation of different (renewable) energy sources.

The safe supply of quality electricity is based on a dynamic management of a network’s balance between production and consumption (peak shaving and load leveling) locally, regionally or at a national level.

The search for energy saving and cost effectiveness control led to maximize the use of all available renewable energy sources.

In the construction sector, the heat generators for space heating, domestic hot water and cooling, will have to meet the challenges of smart grids. Their ability to interconnect, be remotely controlled (decrease heat production or shut-off period), andstore energy are the major advantages that these systems will develop to play a decisive role in this search of the optimal use of renewable energies. 
In Europe, heat pumps are quite often connected to water loop heating systems, which have their own inertia (or through additional water tanks). These systems are perfectly suited to the network connected with renewable energy sources; and doing so, they will maximise grid and heat pump performances.

Heat pumps provide many opportunities for increasing global building and electric grid efficiency by matching heat production with photovoltaic, wind turbine production, solar thermal, or with the highest outside temperature hours (why not with the help of meteorological forecast data…).

This also includes the opportunity of using air-to-air heat pumps, which will probably be associated with efficient thermal storage materials in the future.

And when no heat storage solution is available, heat pumps are very easily connectable tp other generators (with any other fuels), and those hybrid solution are also well adapted to remote control requirements.
This Newsletter shows with concrete examples the feasibility of centralized remote control heat pumps and its benefits for both end-users and the environment.

Finally, even if some improvements have to be done to market products with integrated and reliable control systems able to share information and command with any electricity supplier, we can say that heat pump systems are today already “smart grid friendly” – and more and more inverter machines mean more and more ease to control heat pumps accurately.

EHPA is convinced that heat pumps are “smart technology” for future smart grids! State of the art heat pumps are in most cases “Smart Grid Ready”even today and provide the necessary technology for our future sustainable buildings and cities.

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