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The value(s) of flexible heat pumps – Assessment of technical and economic conditions

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  • Felten, Björn
  • Weber, Christoph

Abstract

Residential heat pumps are one of the most resource-efficient means for space heating, and their market shares are expected to rise substantially over the next few decades. Through installation of a thermal energy storage, the operation of a heat pump is – to a certain extent – decoupled from heat demand. Such flexibility is frequently claimed to bear a high potential for demand-side management. This study investigates the operational cost savings achievable through the use of such a flexibility option. To this end, a dynamic model of a coupled building and heating system is developed, and several economic model-predictive control strategies for heat-pump operation are derived. These strategies exploit real-time prices and the flexibility of the thermal capacity of the building and/or heat storage. The proposed algorithms are applied using perfect and imperfect foresight. Furthermore, different variations of real-time prices along with several building and storage configurations are investigated. The resulting operational cost savings are contrasted with different paths of investment-cost developments. Results of this investigation demonstrate that investments in flexibility measures (smart-home equipment, thermal storage capacity, etc.) are, for the most part, economically unviable. However, it is also realized that economic feasibility depends greatly on the technical set-up and economic conditions. This study demonstrates that the potential of flexible heat-pump operation is frequently overstated. On the other hand, configurations for which overall system-cost savings could be deemed achievable are also identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Felten, Björn & Weber, Christoph, 2018. "The value(s) of flexible heat pumps – Assessment of technical and economic conditions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 228(C), pages 1292-1319.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:228:y:2018:i:c:p:1292-1319
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.06.031
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    3. Felten, Björn, 2020. "An integrated model of coupled heat and power sectors for large-scale energy system analyses," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 266(C).
    4. Kuboth, Sebastian & Heberle, Florian & König-Haagen, Andreas & Brüggemann, Dieter, 2019. "Economic model predictive control of combined thermal and electric residential building energy systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 240(C), pages 372-385.
    5. Emmanouil Psimopoulos & Fatemeh Johari & Chris Bales & Joakim Widén, 2020. "Impact of Boundary Conditions on the Performance Enhancement of Advanced Control Strategies for a Residential Building with a Heat Pump and PV System with Energy Storage," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(6), pages 1-25, March.
    6. Nolting, Lars & Praktiknjo, Aaron, 2019. "Techno-economic analysis of flexible heat pump controls," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 238(C), pages 1417-1433.
    7. Singh Gaur, Ankita & Fitiwi, Desta & Curtis, John, 2019. "Heat pumps and their role in decarbonising heating Sector: a comprehensive review," Papers WP627, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heat pump; Model-predictive control; Real-time pricing; Demand-side management;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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