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IEA Annex 56 - Digitalization and IoT for Heat Pumps

With increasing spread of digitalization, heat pumps will be designed to provide real time energy efficiency, flexible use of electricity, optimized load profile and an optimized compromise concerning comfort and operation costs. Heat pumps will become connected devices participating in the Internet of Things (IoT). Heat pumps with IoT technology shall allow for further decarbonization of heat supply.

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This project aims to increase knowledge at different levels such as OEMs, heat pump manufacturers, installers, legislators to provide guidance as well as data, and knowledge about heat pump technologies with IoT applications and to contribute to the development of future standards.

Within this project, three central topics will be elaborated:

  • Interfaces: IoT enabled devices are equipped with sensors that collect a multitude of data. For a heat pump, this data ranges from compressor data, temperatures, and pressures in different sections of the heat pump, information on the status of the expansion valve, etc. Central questions are how data is transferred to IoT, which kind of data is processed and where operation decisions are made.
  • Data analysis: The aim of data analysis is to make use of the collected data to provide targeted information for the optimized operation of heat pumps. This might be machine-learning algorithms that learn from the user’s behaviour in the past to optimize heat supply or to learn from many heat pumps, how specific heat pumps are performing compared to others and how to improve as well as development of soft sensors to obtain information that is not directly available through measurements.
  • Services: IoT enabled heat pumps can provide different services connected to various business models. In a smart grid, they can be applied for smart demand response to reduce peak load and/or to optimize electricity consumption as a function of the electricity price. Preventive analytics can provide what-if analysis for operation decisions and information for predictive maintenance. The requirements for the different services will be assessed in a structured way.
Different levels of interconnection related to IoT for heat pumps.
Different levels of interconnection related to IoT for heat pumps.


Key Factors

Project duration

2020 - 2022