Development of fast regulating heat pumps using dynamic models

Benjamin  Zühlsdorf

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Development of fast regulating heat pumps using dynamic models

Project start September 2020. Expected completion date August 2023.

Purpose of project
The project develops software tools that enhance the flexibility of large-scale heat pumps operating in integrated systems with varying operating conditions. This is approached by the development of a holistic control structure and a design procedure that is considering dynamic aspects, yielding higher overall performances and lower operating cost.

Large-scale heat pumps are key elements of an integrated sustainable energy system with a variety of benefits. They enable the electrification of heating demands for industrial process heat and district heating, increase in overall energy efficiency, a reduction of primary energy consumption and a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions. In order to use large-scale heat pump systems most effectively and exploit their potential with regards to sector coupling, a sophisticated integration into the given boundary conditions is paramount. The increasingly flexible integration of large-scale heat pumps does, however, imply certain challenges for the equipment, as short reaction times are required.

The project will provide an advantage when designing and operating heat pumps, which are to be integrated in the energy system. The platform for modelling the transient operation enables Johnson Controls to create a digital representation of their systems to identify downtime due to site and plant specific interactions. Furthermore, the dynamic modelling platform will provide the basis for integrating digital modelling approaches more thoroughly in the design process of Johnson Controls heat pumps, which is expected to imply significant advantages compared to the conventional design procedures.

DTI leads the development, implementation and validation of component and system models, which will serve as the basis for the development of advanced design procedures and a holistic control structure, led by DTU. Johnson Controls is the overall project manager and will lead the application and demonstration activities.


The project is divided into the following phases:

  • Development and validation of detailed numerical component models
  • Analysis of selected system configurations in transient operating conditions
  • Optimization of system design under consideration of dynamic operation
  • Development of optimized holistic control structure
  • Application and demonstration of developed control structures
  • Dissemination.




  • Johnson Controls (Project manager – Klaus Niels Vinther)
  • Danish Technological Institute
  • DTU Mechanical Engineering.

The project is funded by EUDP.

Johnson Controls.