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access icon openaccess Impact of heat pump load on distribution networks

Heat pumps can provide domestic heating at a cost that is competitive with oil heating in particular. If the electricity supply contains a significant amount of renewable generation, a move from fossil fuel heating to heat pumps can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The inherent thermal storage of heat pump installations can also provide the electricity supplier with valuable flexibility. The increase in heat pump installations in the UK and Europe in the last few years poses a challenge for low-voltage networks, because of the use of induction motors to drive the pump compressors. The induction motor load tends to depress voltage, especially on starting. The study includes experimental results, dynamic load modelling, comparison of experimental results and simulation results for various levels of heat pump deployment. The simulations are based on a generic test network designed to capture the main characteristics of UK distribution system practice. The simulations employ DIgSlILENT Power Factory to facilitate dynamic simulations that focus on starting current, voltage variations, active power, reactive power and switching transients.


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