Project - Heat pumps - an asset in the energy system of the future

Jannie Guldmann Würtz

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Project - Heat pumps - an asset in the energy system of the future

Development of methods for increasing the flexibility in individual heat pumps' consumption of electricity.

Project start 2010. Ended 2015.

The project is finished.

Controllable electricty generation from fossilized fired power stations are now replaced with fluctuating electricity generation from wind turbines and solar cells. Individual oil-fired burners are replaced with heat pumps. Gas and diesel driven vehicles are replaced with electricically powered one. The system is under solid pressure the coming years. The requirement of flexible consumption of electricity will grow dramatically, if the security of supply and balance in the electrical system should be maintained.

Individual heat pumps open up for flexible consumption of electricity, because the associated hot-water tank and heat capacity in the building construction allow, to a certain extent, operation which is delayed with a couple of hours from the present heat requirement. The potential for spreading out heat pumps is enormeous.

The governmental transmission company's tasks are to secure a high supply stability, balance and environmental friendliness in the electricity supply system. Therefore, the company has started a demonstration project with the title 'From wind power to heat pumps' with the purpose of creating space for more wind power by supporting flexible consumption of electricity in heat pumps.

The initiative is lead by, because the company coordinates its own project activities with the recent project, VAFE, which is lead by Danish Technological Institute and another project with the title 'Intelligent remote control of individual heat pumps', which is lead by Nordjsk Elhandel A/S.

Around 300 private heat pump systems will be equipped with a control box package (computer plus measurement sensors), which both collects data and transmits the data to a central server for analysis, and it also gives the opportunity of remote control of the heat pump.

Goals of the project

The demonstration project is aimed at investigating:

  • How big a consumption of electricity it is possible to move to periods with low electrity costs
  • How the heat pump is affected by being interrupted and turned on with short intervals
  • If it is possible to create an algoritm for implementation in the control box, so that it creates an operation plan for the heat pump, which both considers the economy and the electricity system's need for flexibility. This is done on the basis of knowledge from the upcoming hours' bargain prices on electricity, weather forecasts and eventual restrictions from the electricity system.
  • Which societal and economical advantages there are by controlling a heat pump in different ways
  • Eventual problems in the supply mains, if the oil-fired burners and natural gas boilers are replaced with heat pumps.

As a part of the project, 10 heat pump installations are selected, where an extended calculation programme will be carried through together with conducted experiments with intelligent controlling via the control box. A foundation for the demonstration is that no plant owner must experience decline in comfort.


  • Danish Technological Institute (project leader)
  • Varmepumpefabrikantforeningen
  • Ahlsell
  • ASAP energy
  • BAXI
  • BKF-Klima
  • Danfoss Heat Pumps
  • Dansk Varmepumpeindustri
  • Gastech-Energi
  • IVT Naturvarme
  • Pettinaroli
  • Bosch
  • Salling Vaske og Køle Service
  • Solar Danmark
  • Vaillant
  • Vesttherm
  • Viessmann
  • Vølund


The work packages in this project are the same as respectively and IFIV's projects, but every project are focusing more on some of the work packages than others.

  • WP1: Pre project
  • WP2: Analysis
  • WP3: Dimensioning and design
  • WP4: Demonstration and test
  • WP5: Data analysis
  • WP6: Standardization
  • WP7: Communication and reporting
  • WP8: Project administration and coordination