Annex 57 – Flexibility by implementation of heat pumps in multi-vector energy systems

Line Ankerstjerne Kruuse

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Annex 57 – Flexibility by implementation of heat pumps in multi-vector energy systems

Project start August 2020. Expected completion date December 2023.

Purpose of project
The implementation of district heating and cooling systems, and heat pumps in these systems, is a way to increase the overall energy efficiency in the public society and to minimize the use of fossil fuels. Furthermore, it is a way to increase the share of renewable energy and the use of waste heat in the entire energy system.

In this annex, focus is primarily on the implementation of heat pumps in district heating and district cooling systems, and the project will therefore describe solutions and barriers for heat pumps in this market.

This annex is a part of the IEA Heat Pump Programme. The annex follows the IEA HPT Annex 47, which ended in March 2019. In Annex 47, focus was on existing solutions and technology for heat pumps in district heating grids. This annex showed that up to 50 % of the heating demand in Europe could be covered by district heating and that heat pumps can cover up to 25 % of the energy supply to the district heating grid. This means that the potential for heat pumps is large. Furthermore, Annex 47 showed that heat pumps can be integrated in different ways in the district heating grid which means that heat losses can be reduced, and the efficiency can be improved.

This annex will focus on coming technologies and on the possibilities of heat pumps to increase the flexibility in energy systems with different sources such as PV, wind-power, and biomass, and where end users can be consumers, prosumers or both (multi-vector). Heat pumps in district heating systems provide many benefits, since they enable the possibility of running district heating systems at lower temperatures, which increases the possibilities of using waste heat, and heat losses can be reduced.

The project is divided into the following phases:

  • Energy market analysis – Future developments and sector coupling
  • Best practice examples – Description of existing projects with flexible solutions with heat pumps in thermal grids
  • Concepts – development of representative and promising solutions
  • Flexibility – Assessment and Analyses of different options
  • Business models – Development and evaluation of innovative concepts
  • Dissemination of knowledge.


  • Danish Technological Institute (Project manager – Svend Vinther Pedersen)
  • Danfoss
  • PlanEnergi
  • Johnson Controls
  • DTU Mechanical Engineering
  • Aalborg University

The project is funded by EUDP.

The plant is owned by CTR, HOFOR and VEKS and is supported by EUDP.