The effect of deep energy retrofit on the hourly power demand of Finnish detached houses

Janne Hirvonen*, Juha Jokisalo, Risto Kosonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

This study examines how the energy renovation of old detached houses affects the hourly power consumption of heating and electricity in Finland. As electrification of heating through heat pumps becomes more common, the effects on the grid need to be quantified. Increased fluctuation and peak power demand could increase the need for fossil-based peaking power plants or call for new investments to the distribution infrastructure. The novelty in this study is the focus on hourly power demand instead of just annual energy consumption. Identifying the influence of building energy retrofits on the instantaneous power demand can help guide policy and investments into building retrofits and related technology. The work was done through dynamic building simulation and utilized building configurations obtained through multi-objective optimization. Deep energy retrofits decreased both the total and peak heating power consumption. However, the use of air-source heat pumps increased the peak power demand of electricity in district heated and wood heated buildings by as much as 100%. On the other hand, peak power demand in buildings with direct electric heating was reduced by 30 to 40%. On the building stock level, the demand reduction in buildings with direct electric heating could compensate for the increase in the share of buildings with ground-source heat pumps, so that the national peak electricity demand would not increase. This prevents the increase of demand for high emission peaking power plants as heat pump penetration rises. However, a use is needed for the excess solar electricity generated by the optimally retrofitted buildings, because much of the solar electricity cannot be utilized in the single-family houses during summer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1773
Number of pages26
JournalEnergies
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Deep retrofit
  • Detached house
  • Electric heating
  • Energy renovation
  • Ground-source heat pump
  • Power demand
  • Single-family house

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