PnP Control Tabs

Development of a plug-and-play control strategy for energy-flexible buildings with a focus on heat pumps

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  • ©Green Energy Lab
  • ©Green Energy Lab

The increasing use of energy from renewable energy sources requires an increased balance between production (local, regional and national) and consumption in the electricity network. The use of heat pumps (HP) in combination with thermally activated components (TABS) offers great potential for such load shifts, as they can store heating or cooling energy for a longer period due to their high thermal storage mass. As a result, using suitable control strategies, the operation of the heat pump can be designed flexibly in favor of an increased use of renewable energies in the building. At the same time – on a large scale – there is significant potential for reducing the load on the power grid. The project thus makes a significant contribution to the integration of renewable energy and the reduction of electricity consumption.

The widespread dissemination of this concept is currently hampered by the lack of a broadly applicable, standardized control strategy. The aim of this project is therefore to develop a control system for heat pumps in combination with thermally activated components, which can initiate communication with renewable energy producers inside or outside the building and optimize the provision of useful energy accordingly. The requirements of the indoor climate should always be complied with. Above all, the open source and plug-and-play approach (technology that enables external devices to be connected and used immediately with minimal effort) should enable broad application.

Involvement of all partners to create a versatile solution

The active involvement of relevant companies such as heat pump manufacturers and energy supply companies, control engineers and building services planners as well as research institutions is essential from the start. This ensures that the solution that is developed in the project can ultimately be used as open source code by all parties.

The result is a specification for a heat pump control as well as a control that has been implemented and tested in several demonstration objects. At the same time, a platform is being developed so that external companies can use this regulation for their own purposes. In order to be able to implement this regulation more intensively in tenders for construction projects, specific tender texts are created for integrators.


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