READY – Heat pumps in a smart grid future

Denmark | May 2012 - November 2014

The energy system is changing and will be increasingly complex in the future. The share of wind power in Danish electricity consumption was expected to increase to 50% by 2020. This would give rise to a range of challenges related to electrical system balance, communication, data handling, as well as electricity markets.

As such, a need existed to develop advanced solutions for using electricity more intelligently. In the Danish context heat pumps provided an opportunity for integrating more wind power and other fluctuating electricity production into the energy system.

VPP Controller for Heat Pumps

The main purpose of the READY project was the development of a Smart Grid ready Virtual Power Plant (VPP) server that could control a large number of heat pumps. In this context, a VPP server is a unit that can control thousands of consumption appliances, but seen from the operator they act as one controllable unit.

The main aspects of the project were:

  • Large scale aggregation of heat pumps
  • Management of grid constraints
  • Recommendation for future installations of heat pumps and controllers
  • User involvement and business cases

Grid constraints and communication scenarios

Ea Energy Analyses contributed to a number of aspects, but the primary focus was on grid constraints in the distribution grids, communication scenarios, grid measurements, and the development of markets for congestion management.

A number of local grid companies were interviewed to provide input regarding constraints in their respective grids, as well as potential communication scenarios and technologies that can be utilised to manage these congestions.

Project team and sponsor

READY was a ForskEL project supported by The project team consisted of: NEAS Energy (project leader), Aalborg University, Aarhus University, Neogrid, PlanEnergi and Ea Energy Analyses. The activities built on a previous project, namely Intelligent Remote Control of Individual Heat Pumps.