From the 25th to the 27th October 2017, I attended the European Heat Pump Summit as well as the IEA Heat Pumping Technologies Experts’ Meeting, both in Nuremberg. These two events gave interesting insights into current heat pump R&D in Europe, and what may lie ahead.
This was my first time at the European Heat Pump Summit and I was surprised to hear attendees say that it was less well attended than previous years. To my eye, it was still busy, and the conversation was lively.
- The future of refrigerants was the key industry concern and it is clear that decisions must be made quickly to deal with the imminent quota decrease due in January 2018. The current market uncertainty was described as “an unstable situation” by one presenter. No clear direction of travel emerged throughout the presentations and discussions.
- Developers are still working hard to maximise the optimisation potential for heat pump components, especially around the use of new (flammable) refrigerants. When combined with the “wait and see” culture that many companies have adopted towards low GWP solutions, this raises concerns about how quickly the industry will be able to adapt once decisions have been made.
- It is clear from case studies and research that the use of heat pumps in industry is increasing, building on a wider choice of product options and an increasing acceptance of the technology worldwide.
- Plans were developed to do more research into the topics of customer engagement and data usage, as well as those above.
One gap in the Summit debate that stood out to me was a lack of (though not entirely missing) focus on smart heat pump applications. This is an issue that we at Delta-ee see as key to growth in the European heat pump market, and more inclusion of use cases on this topic was expected. However, the traditionally technical nature of this Summit may be the explanation for this gap.
If you would like to hear more about these events, please get in touch:
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