IEA HPT Annex 56: Digitalization and Internet of Things for Heat Pumps

As digitalization progresses, heat pumps are becoming part of the Internet of Things (IoT). In this project, the opportunities and challenges of IoT-capable heat pumps for the use in households, commercial enterprises and industrial applications will be investigated. The aim of the project is to provide a structured overview of IoT-enabled heat pumps.

Short Description

Ambitious climate, energy and environmental targets require the transition to an efficient, renewable and low-CO2 energy system. Digitalization is one of the most important factors for the transformation of energy systems. Digitalization is expected to facilitate the matching of supply and demand with increasing volatility in energy production and contribute significantly to final energy savings and CO2 reductions. According to an IEA study, digitalization can reduce energy consumption in buildings by 10% by 2040. Heat pumps are increasingly becoming connected devices that can participate in the Internet of Things (IoT). Such heat pumps, both domestic and industrial, enable optimization of operation to reduce energy consumption, reduce CO2 emissions, achieve economic benefits and increase comfort. They also enable grid services through the targeted provision of flexibility, e.g. in a pool of small heat pumps or with large heat pumps for industrial or district heating applications.

The IEA HPT Annex 56 project analyzes the opportunities and challenges of IoT-enabled heat pumps for use in buildings and for industrial applications. The aim of the project is to provide a structured overview of IoT-enabled heat pumps and commercial products and services. The information was compiled in an intensive exchange with experts from the participating countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland).

The results of Annex 56 provide a good overview of connected heat pumps. A total of 44 application examples in the participating countries were analyzed, which clearly show that IoT-enabled heat pumps and related products are already available on the market. The application examples can be assigned to five categories: Operation optimization, predictive maintenance, commissioning, provision of flexibility and heat as a service. Relevant interfaces, data analysis methods and business models for IoT-enabled heat pumps were also analyzed.

The results show that the use of IoT technology and the associated networking can enable or significantly improve data exchange, analysis and the services based on it. For users, this usually means operating cost and energy savings and increased operational reliability. The provision of flexibility is particularly important for the energy system, as it allows the fluctuating generation of renewable energy to be better utilized. The exchange and use of data plays a key role in this. IoT-enabled heat pumps will therefore play an important role in the future energy system.

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 (Operating Agent), France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland

Contact Address

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Center for Energy
Project manager, Operating Agent: Veronika Wilk
Project staff: Reinhard Jentsch, Tilman Barz, Gerhard Zucker, Christoph Reichl, Tara Esterl, Johanna Spreizhofer, Regina Hemm, Philipp Ortmann, Bernd Windholz
Giefinggasse 2, 1210 Wien
Tel.: +43 (0) 50550-6494

TU Wien, Institute of Computer Engineering
Forschungsbereich Automation Systems
Project manager: Wolfgang Kastner
Project staff: Gernot Steindl, Goran Music
Treitlstr. 1-3, 1040 Wien
Tel.: +43 1 58801-18320

Fachhochschule Burgenland GmbH
Project manager: Helmut Plank
Project staff: Roman Stelzer, Christian Heschl
Campus 1, 7000 Eisenstadt
Tel.: + 43 5 7705-4121