Project Info

Project Title 
LOC-GFO-19-301-4 HP-flex: Next Generation Heat Pump Load Flexibility DR
Project Number 
Investor Owned Utilities 
Project Year(s) 
2019 - 2024

Southern California Edison (SCE) provided a Letter of Commitment in support of LBNL’s proposal for the EPIC GFO 19-301 Group 4 EPIC solicitation, intending to cost share $300,000 ($150k / $150k from ET/DR). The project will develop and demonstrate an open-source energy and load management system designed to control advanced heat pumps on small/medium commercial buildings. This system will minimize energy use and bills while allowing buildings to effectively participate in load shed, shift, shimmy and shape DR programs and dynamic pricing tariffs, to provide reliable and cost-effective load flexibility to the grid.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) submitted a proposal to the CEC in response to Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) solicitation GFO-19-301, Group 4.  The proposal was awarded a contract agreement (EPC-19-013) by the CEC for a $3,000,000 grant to fund the development and field site evaluation of an open-source, scalable, low-cost control solution (called HP-Flex) for optimal demand management of high-efficiency heat pumps in small and medium commercial buildings. The goal of the CEC Agreement is to develop open-source control algorithms and educational curricula to train the next generation of engineers and technicians, to help promote the large-scale deployment of replicable, demand-flexible heat pump (HP) installations in small to medium-sized commercial buildings, to increase benefits to both individual building owners and the distribution grid compared to standard HP installations. LBNL intends to achieve these goals by focusing on a number of objectives:

- Develop an advanced, integrated, open-source control system to cost-effectively provide energy optimization and load flexibility to heat pumps in small and medium commercial buildings (SMC).
- Verify that HP-Flex integrated in SMC buildings can meet the following criteria: 1) Achieve a 20% reduction in site peak energy costs compared to a SMC heat pump with scheduled thermostatic control. 2) Provide 50% load shed during summer or winter peak-load events. 3) Provide 20 kWh of daily load shift capacity for a typical SMC building during the shoulder seasons. 4) Provide “shimmy” services equivalent to 10% continuous response of average baseline load. 5) Enable 25% of the baseline load to respond to dynamic prices to shape daily load profile in summer and winter. 6) Meet a payback time of 2 years.
- Integrate and control a thermal energy storage system with a SMC heat pump.
- Develop educational curricula to train engineers and technicians on the design, installation, and maintenance of load-flexible HP systems.