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Flexible operation of heat pumps in district heating systems to unlock synergies between the heating & power sector [29] Vortragssprache Englisch

Integrating the heating and the electricity sector has been identified as a promising approach to efficiently accommodate large shares of transient renewable energy, like e.g. wind power. In this context, large-scale heat pumps are expected to play a key role as integrating units between the sectors. If connected to a district heating system, the thermal storage potential of the grid, large-scale storages and the building mass itself may be exploited to allow the heat pump to operate flexibly and thereby providing ancillary services to the power system. The project EnergyLab Nordhavn – New Urban Energy Infrastructures, that runs from April 2015 to October 2019, utilizes Copenhagen’s Nordhavn as a full-scale smart city energy lab and aims at demonstrating how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system. In the frame of EnergyLab Nordhavn, the technical feasibility of flexible operation of large-scale heat pumps supplying district heating networks has been assessed through theoretic and experimental studies. Today, most large-scale heat pumps that have been installed to supply district heating, have been designed for base load operation, i.e. they have not been optimized to react quickly to signals from the electricity grid. Accordingly, there is a lack of knowledge about how fast large-scale heat pumps can actually start-up and shut-down, how they perform during regulation and what the limiting factors are to be able to react faster. In order to assess these questions the dynamic behaviour of large-scale heat pumps was studied using dynamic modelling tools and experiments. It was further studied, how large-scale heat pumps can be combined with electric boilers or electric vehicles to supply ancillary services, what the limitations on the heat source and heat sink side are, and whether there exist synergies between providing flexibility to the electricity grid and the district heating grid. This talk presents experiences from the flexible operation of a heat pump located in Nordhavn, Copenhagen and the main outcomes of the theoretical studies.

--- Date: 23.10.2019 Time: 13:45 - 14:10 Location: Hall Brüssel, NCC Mitte

Main speaker

 Wiebke Meesenburg

Wiebke Meesenburg

PhD student / Technical University of Denmark


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