Sonnen connects heat pumps to virtual power plant in Germany


From pv magazine Germany

Sonnen has been networking and controlling its photovoltaic systems, home storage systems and wall boxes in a virtual power plant for some time now.

The German battery manufacturer has implemented a new software solution to seamlessly integrate heat pumps into their energy system. It aims to operate the heat pumps smartly and in a grid-friendly manner, contributing to power grid stability by optimizing electricity consumption. This approach involves activating the heat pumps when electricity supply exceeds demand, thus smoothing out generation and consumption peaks.

In the future, heat pumps may also support the provision of control power, allowing households to generate additional income. However, this requires entering into an electricity contract with Sonnen. The integration process is made easy, as no additional hardware is needed. Installers can conveniently connect heat pumps to the network, along with photovoltaic systems and storage, with a simple click. This streamlines and accelerates the installation process, particularly beneficial for installers with limited resources.

Existing heat pumps can also be integrated if they meet certain technical requirements. Sonnen's first partner in this initiative is German heat pump manufacturer NIBE, and more partnerships are expected to follow. Sonnen Managing Director Oliver Koch emphasized that heat pumps play a crucial role in the decentralized energy system of the future, enabling the transition to clean and affordable energy for all.

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With the software solution, the heat pumps are controlled to utilize excess solar power or stored energy for heating water and heating systems. This reduces reliance on the power grid, as the heat pumps tap into self-generated renewable energy sources.

If households have insufficient solar power or stored energy, the solar community provides additional green power. In summer, the heat pumps can efficiently cool the house using solar power, often eliminating the need for additional air conditioning.

“Heat pumps offer more than traditional heating,” said Klaus Ackermann, managing director of NIBE. “Intelligently integrating power generation and consumption allows customers to enjoy maximum comfort at low costs and with minimal environmental impact.”

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