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Germanys-summer-package-to-focus-on-heating-sector-revamp/

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,263
    Now the age-old question: Who pays for all this?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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    Rich_49
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 109
    A ban on all new or replacement fossil fuel heaters. I can see that coming here in the next while, the way things are moving.
    Im in the process of migrating from oil to.. something. Im not much of a tree-hugger (although we do have thousands of them), but I would go enviro if I could. Im told ccASHP is no good here (design temp -21f), but GSHP would work. We have the perfect property for horizontal loops, but how does one justify the $30k++ layout. So, propane/natgas it is.

    Maybe some great times ahead for German hvac people.
    And govt paper-pushers.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Jon_blaney
    Jon_blaney Member Posts: 268
    I agree, it just cost to much to switch to HPs. It is cheaper to pay for $5.00 oil than retrofit my house. An air to water system would work great but it just cost too much even with tax credits and rebates. It is twice the cost of oil/gas systems and the useful life is also an unknown.
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 76
    This is basically a war-effort on Germany's (and much of the rest of Europe) part right now - people here complain that gas went from $4/MMBTU to $8/MMBTU, but NG prices in Europe are currently sitting at $100/MMBTU in spring time, and half the money they're spending is funding the other side of a war they're involved in. "I'm not sure if I'll save a few dollars over the course of 25 years" isn't really the problem they're debating, it's "How can we rapidly reduce the enormous leverage our geopolitical enemy has over us?" - the cost of a tank or fighter jet buys a lot of heat pumps.
    mattmia2Larry WeingartenIn_New_EnglandGGross
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 373
    Steamhead said:

    Now the age-old question: Who pays for all this?

    Everyone in the country. Who else?
  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 160
    Going to get real interesting there next Winter. I'd start collecting sticks in the forests.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,916
    When it comes to heating, I gave up saying the Germans can't possibly do that after my third trip to ISH in Frankfurt. That was in 1995.

    Watch them.
    Retired and loving it.
    mattmia2GGrossDerheatmeister
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 109
    As per the article - 800,000 systems are replaced annually in normal times. Presumably that number will go way up with people taking advantage of federal funding and/or moving away from extreme gas prices.

    Will more countries join in ?
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 890
    I think many of you may have missed a very important part of the article....The use of combi units that use heat pumps and gas. Assuming a similar climate pattern as Chicago, you only need 60% of your peak capacity for 90% of the heating season. What I expect a combi would do is the heat pump would be sized for 60% of peak capacity , and then the last 10% would be made up with gas. That yields a 90% reduction is gas usage. This is a much more common sense approach to installing heat pumps... leave the boiler in place and add a heat pump for the 60% load. In old terminology, base load with the heat pump.
    Folks we need to stop thinking either or, and start thinking both together.

    Now I don't know how thermally efficient their buildings are, but if they are anything like the masonry stock in Chicago, you should be able to reduce heating fuel usage around 50% or more just using conventional technologies....getting systems working optimally, air tightening and insulating attic spaces, Low-E storm windows, and wrapping exterior masonry wall with an insulated curtain wall. The added benefit is the big reduction is cooling energy.
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    Larry Weingarten
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,916
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,118
    From a pure technical perspective, heat pumps can in fact be made to provide 180F or higher outputs. The COP drops and the output. So the unknown question is still, when do the cost of fossil fuels go high enough to make up the operating cost, and performance difference.

    Cascading systems is how it is possible, A2WHP with a reciprocating compressor as the second stage, or A2WQHP with W2WHP second. Several brands of commercial sized units are currently available.

    I suspect the race is on to get these sized for residential applications, seems Viessmann is a company looking hard at solution for the German market. With more urgency I imagine since their factory in Ukraine was bombed off the map.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 76
    @hot_rod - there are already residential 'high-temperature' A2WHPs on the market (just not in the US, that I'm aware of): Daikin Altherma HT
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,118
    I sat in on a Redwood Energy electrification webinar recently. They showed a number of high temperature installations they designed with this Canadian built units. There were a few other brands mentioned, I will have to check the archive.

    Here is the spiel on the Transcom brand, from a different webinar.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 109
    I have no problem trying to become green but unless they reduce coal fired power plants all they are doing is kicking the can down the street. coal fired power plants emit twice as much co2 as natural gas. so how does that help the environment. Electricity is not magic. It has to be generated. Increasing the electricity demand doesn't make sense if your doubling your co2 emissions
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 890
    Yea, I'm don't really know what Germany will power all these heat pumps with. They have already sworn off nuclear after the problems in Japan. However, they are talking about district heating systems in the cities, which would really cut emissions dramatically if they go cogen. They can produce heat for heating the buildings and electricity (maybe help power heat pumps) from a single input source. IIRC, MIT did research on the efficiency of different methods of heating about 10 years ago and district ( steam?) systems were about 280% efficient. As usual I now can't find the article. I could see maybe 140 to 150% efficient from just burning the fuel, generating electricity and then using the waste heat for space heating. Maybe the extra comes from heat pumps COP of 2.5 to 3 bumping the heat output of the district loop.
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  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 76
    There's a short-term national security aspect to this and a long-term environmental aspect. In the short term, they probably don't care how they get their electricity (i.e. probably more coal), they just literally might not have enough gas, so you want to reduce/substitute for as much direct gas usage as you can as quickly as possible. More insulation, more sweaters, more coal, more heat pumps - anything that doesn't burn more Russian gas. Long-term, heat-pumps and/or district heating decouple end-user heating from the energy source and enable things like co-generation (in the latter case), and much higher usage of wind/solar, with significant ability to reduce overall carbon emissions (even if you're still firing up gas plants when you need to make up a shortfall) - total emissions are what you're trying to minimize, so it's not particularly important if your instantaneous emissions are worse than they could have been with gas boilers for a couple days a year.

    @The Steam Whisperer - I don't think thermodynamics lets you get above 100% efficiency unless you're using a heat pump. Co-generation can probably approach like 90% total efficiency, which is a ~1.5-2x improvement over the best combined-cycle gas plants (with heat pumps allowing you to get well above 100% in total if you're using the electricity from a co-generation plant, and allowing for much lower total carbon emissions if much of your total power generation is carbon-free).
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,118
    Germany got over 60% of its electricity from renewables in 2021. I suspect the HP push will include more RE installations.

    https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2020/03/07/germanys-electricity-generation-was-60-renewable-in-february-with-wind-power-replacing-lignite-usage/

    Cogen will need a consistent thermal load to pencil out. Perhaps cooling and large refrigeration loads with any waste thermal will help utilize the summer thermal excess.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 890
    edited May 14
    @The Steam Whisperer - I don't think thermodynamics lets you get above 100% efficiency unless you're using a heat pump. Co-generation can probably approach like 90% total efficiency, which is a ~1.5-2x improvement over the best combined-cycle gas plants (with heat pumps allowing you to get well above 100% in total if you're using the electricity from a co-generation plant, and allowing for much lower total carbon emissions if much of your total power generation is carbon-free).
    With cogen you're not just looking at thermodynamics. Condensing high pressure steam boilers can run in the low 90's thermo efficiency.... we've had these in Chicago for many years ( check out the Cleaver Brooks Super boiler project, IIRC) Then you add turning turbines for electricity generation on top of that. That's how you can get will over 100% efficiency. Of course if you then use that electricity to run heat pumps, then you've got another boost.

    Bob,

    I suppose they could use the excess heat in the summer to power absorption chillers for cooling. Probably not the most efficient process, but way better than throwing out the heat.
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