IEA HPT Annex 48: Industrial Heat Pumps, Second Phase

Industrial heat pumps enable the use of waste heat and increase the energy efficiency of industrial processes. The aim of this project was to provide comprehensive information on the successful application of industrial heat pumps and thus contribute to the further dissemination of this technology.

Short Description

Industrial heat pumps are a central element in the future energy infrastructure because they recover low-temperature waste heat and thus make an important contribution to increasing the efficiency of industrial processes and avoiding CO2 emissions. Despite their availability, industrial heat pumps are still in an early phase of diffusion. The aim of the IEA HPT Annex 48 was to support the further spread of this technology by developing and disseminating information. For this purpose, application examples for industrial heat pumps were collected, processed and made available in the participating countries (Germany, Austria, France, Japan, Denmark, Great Britain and Switzerland).

In Austria 68 heat pump installations in industrial companies were analysed. Expert interviews with manufacturers and industrial companies were conducted. In addition, sales statistics, data from Statistik Austria, the Austrian Technology Roadmap for Heat Pumps, and studies and research projects were evaluated.

The following results were obtained:

  • Collection of 68 heat pump systems in industrial processes
  • Detailed description of 10 heat pump systems
  • Guide for the training of future users, plant designers, funding agencies and municipal decision makers
  • Brochure on heat pumps in sectors relevant for Austria with 26 examples from the countries represented in Annex 48
  • Dissemination: 11 publications at international conferences, workshops and magazines

Heat pumps are currently most commonly used in the food industry, usually for simultaneous heating and cooling, such as chillers with waste heat recovery. The heating capacities of the examples surveyed are in the range of some 10-100 kW, the heat is mostly used in the company itself (building and hall heating, as well as process heat). Heat pumps that supply temperatures of approx. 80°C required for these applications are already available on the market. The second large group of applications includes power plants that provide district heating. Here, heat pumps are mainly used for flue gas condensation in order to further increase the fuel efficiency. Both compression and absorption heat pumps are used here. Heat pumps that use industrial waste heat and provide heating capacities in the MW range generally feed into district heating networks. The further development of heat pumps to achieve higher heat supply temperatures using new refrigerants is increasing the number of heat pumps in district heating networks. In the examples surveyed, the flow temperature is between 60 and 95°C.


Project Images

Terms of use: The pictures listed underneath the header “Project Pictures” originate from the projects in the frame of the programmes City of Tomorrow, Building of Tomorrow and the IEA Research Cooperation. They may be used credited for non-commercial purposes under the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC).


Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Contact Address

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Giefinggasse 2
A-1210 Wien
Dr. Veronika Wilk

Technische Universität Graz
Institut für Wärmetechnik (IWT)
Inffeldgasse 25/B
A-8010 Graz
Ao.Univ.-Prof. Dr. René Rieberer