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Technology transfer for the emerging European heat pump industry and its supporting infrastructure


Heat pumps can offer energy-efficient and environmentally friendly heating, cooling and dehumidification, in applications ranging from the home through commercial and other large building to process industries.

Over the past decade there has been significant, co-ordinated R&D carried on with EC support, directed at improving heat pump efficiency, reducing costs, and establishing the credibility of cycles which can operate without using CFCs and HCFCs.

Two impediments to the application of this R&D are evident. The continuing low cost of energy, accompanied by the lack of stimuli to invest in environmentally-friendly systems, have made heat pumps comparatively unattractive for the home owner. This may now be changing in consequence of the impact of environmental legislation. Similarly, potential customers have lost various opportunities to exploit the new technology simply from a lack of awareness of its existence. The EC has taken several initiatives Concerted Action Activity has as its principal objective the effective transfer to potential users and others, in particular in the construction sector, of the results of R&D in Europe in the area of heat pumps.

The Concerted Action Activity comprises several initiatives: The Concerted Action Group This is the core activity, and meets regularly as a co-operation network of national experts representing the EC, utilities, R&D laboratories, equipment manufacturers and appropriate academics. The Group supports dissemination activities and provides data on environmental benefits of heat pumps, etc.

A Newsletter is published at frequent intervals to assist dissemination and promote relevant activities within JOULE.

Heat Pump Handbook With the assistance of Norway, TNO will produce a heat pump handbook, dealing with applications in buildings. The handbook will deal with economic and social factors, as well as technical aspects.
Knowledge-Based System for Heat Pump Selection EA Technology is producing an expert system for heat pump selection for buildings. It will be linked to the European Heat Pump Data Base and the software will size and cost (capital and running) units for the several options of heat pump type.

Market Study MAG Consultant will investigate characteristics governing the application of heat pumps and ways of overcoming the perceived barriers to their wider implementation. The study will be panEuropean.
Regional Advice Centres The feasibility of establishing regional centres to assist with dissemination activities, possibly linked to OPETs, will be studied, and recommendations made.

Call for proposal

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Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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EU contribution
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Participants (3)