In this workshop the TRI-HP project aimed to bring together expertise from different areas with a focus on more technical discussions on trigeneration systems innovations, followed by a more social & policy level debate on the uptake of heat pumps. The first part were 7 short presentations which provided an overview of the TRI-HP objectives and innovations. This was followed by a discussion with two jury members who provided their feedback on the innovations and discussed them with the TRI-HP consortium members. The final session of the workshop focused more on the social and policy aspects of the market uptake of heat pumps with short statements from invited EU associations and comments this by the TRI-HP partners.
When providing an overview of the TRI-HP objectives, project coordinator Dr. Daniel Carbonell (SPF-OST) explained that the project aims to develop trigeneration systems that are based on electrically driven natural refrigerant heat pumps coupled with PV to provide heating, cooling and electricity to multi-family buildings. The technologies are currently still in a research phase which finishes in early 2023, after that they will be ready to be demonstrated at a larger scale before being ready to go to market in several years.
The two main systems that are under development were introduced. The first being a dual source/sink system that provides heating & cooling from ground- and air-sources for the Mediterranean climatic zone. The second is a solar-ice slurry system which is more focused on central Europe for heating with cooling as an add-on feature. This uses solar collectors as the only renewable heat source, combining it with ice-slurry as an intermediate storage when there’s not enough solar. Both systems use an ‘Advanced Energy Management System’ which provides smart controls to ensure that energy costs are minimized and renewable share is optimised through a management algorithm based on model predictive control.
After the presentations the technologies were discussed with the jury who were Sylvain Courtey (President at Eurovent Certita Certification) and Zhecho Bolashikov (Environmental Research Engineer at Daikin Europe). The discussion covered different parts of the innovations:
- It was discussed that the ice-slurry system as a storage medium for heating has a potential cost reduction of 10% as it doesn’t have the need for heat exchangers within the ice storage, as opposed to conventional ice storage tanks technologies.
- In terms life-cycle cost analysis it was mentioned that the ice slurry system was compared to a ground source heat pump system achieving same cost and efficiency with the added benefits of not needing space in the ground and not being regulated by water protection laws.
- The importance of awareness of the advantages compared to the barriers of such systems by local & national stakeholders was discussed as well. Where the high upfront investment costs, combined with the complexity of the systems, make the need for information towards investors a key component in the medium- to long term.
In the final part statements were made by Folker Franz (EPEE), Jozefien Vanbecelaere (EHPA) and Davide Sabbadin (EEB) on what is needed for the market uptake of heat pumps in Europe. It was stressed that with the raised ambitions by the EU there is an increased interest among the population and governments in support of heat pumps. This increases the need for policy support in terms of regulations and price control on one hand, and innovations that can accelerate the uptake on the medium and longer term on the other. The major barrier identified on the short term by both the presenters and the audience was the “lack of skills” among installers on heat pumps and the link towards other systems in the building. There is a need for a more structured plan from the EU on addressing the training needs in the different Member States for a smoother transition.