UPDATED: Brussels event gives insights on EU heat pump market potential

By R744.com team, May 21, 2010, 13:41 4 minute reading

A one-day event organised yesterday by the European Heat Pump Association, provided insights on the market potential for heat pumps in Europe, the policies affecting deployment, non exploited potential of large scale heat pumps, intelligent heat pumps as enabling technology for larger integration of renewable electricity generation as well as technology developments, such as new heat exchanger technology for CO2 heat pumps by SWEP. UPDATE: Th

Hans van Steen, Head of Unit in Directorate General on Energy of the European Commission, opened the event, providing an overview of the progress of different European countries in meeting their 2010 renewable energy targets. He noted that by end of June 2010, European Member States are required to submit their National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) on how they intend to meet their 2020 renewable energy targets. NREAPs are expected to create stability and predictability for investors. With heat pumps now being officially recognised as renewables, the documents submitted by countries will give a clear picture of the level of support each country plans to give to heat pumps.

Latest European heat pump statistics

Martin Forsén of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) presented participants with the most recent statistics regarding the European heat pump market. He presented sales figures concerning 9 European markets. As expected the global economic crisis and the reduced building construction rate in 2009, led to a decline of about 10% in the heat pump market compared to the previous year. Nonetheless, the heat pump industry has been more fortunate than other industries and renewable energy sectors. In terms of the renewable energy contribution of heat pumps in Europe, the association estimates that the heat pumps installed in 2005-2009 contribute 27.2 TWh. Forsén also highlighted the case of Sweden where the more mature market is already experiencing a second generation of heat pump customers replacing their old heat pumps. Moreover, although sales in Sweden dropped by 9%, the heat pump industry managed to strengthen its position on the heating market.

Heat pumps in a future energy scenario

The third session of the conference drew on future energy scenarios using heat pumps. A representative from the European electricity industry association, EURELECTRIC underlined the need for smart grids for a reliable energy supply as well as envisioned that in the future consumers will be able to handle the operation of their heat pumps through their phone.

“Intelligent” heat pumps were also discussed by a representative of the Danish electricity transmission system operator as an enabling technology for larger integration of wind power generation in Denmark. In order to be able to move to a system with 50% wind, a flexible demand for electricity would be needed, i.e. making consumers respond to electricity prices. Similar to electric vehicles, heat pumps can also play this role in the energy system. Information technology as well as consumer behaviour will be crucial in achieving flexible electricity demand. For this reason, a demonstration project in 300 homes will take place in Denmark in 2011, whereby heat pumps will be equipped with meters and sensors that will allow them to “speak” with the electricity system.

New developments in heat exchanger technology for CO2 heat pumps

“We need to be creative, we need to jump into the future”, said Tomas Dahlberg of SWEP in the opening of his presentation on new developments in heat exchanger technology for CO2 heat pumps. The company has developed a heat exchanger technology for transcritical CO2 and scalable up to 11kW as a gas cooler. Targeting the CO2 heat pump market, this heat exchanger is smaller, lighter and offers higher efficiency.

The new technology meets the strict legal requirements governing pressure in Europe (Pressure Equipment Directive) and hence also the relatively less strict requirements in Japan (KHK and JRA). The addition of more curves in the shape of the SWEP product solves the high pressure demand issues. Apart from being scalable, the new technology encompasses an extreme pressure resistant design, high thermal performance, low pressure drop (CO2, water) and 40-60% weight reduction.

Industrial heat pumps

A representative from IZW made the case for the big potential of industrial heat pumps, an application where also R744 may be used. He maintained that the deployment of current heat pump products for industrial use can result in payback periods of as short as 3 years that industrial end-users typically require. He singled out industries such as food, pulp & paper and chemicals as areas with a large potential for heat pumps. He suggested that simply using the energy saving argument for convincing these industries to employ heat pumps for their processes simply would not be sufficient. One needs to make the case for additional benefits, such as quality gains for the industrial product.



By R744.com team (@r744)

May 21, 2010, 13:41

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