HVAC products, what future for electricity?

FRANCE – The development of heat pumps (PAC) slowed the growth of the temperature sensitivity of national consumption facing the electric heating Joule effect. The temperature sensitivity is the extra power produced to keep the internal temperature constant when there is a decrease of 1 ° C outside.

According to a study by the transmission network (TEN), temperature sensitivity in new buildings will decrease in the next 10 years. The sensitivity of the consumer to cold temperatures is related to the use of electric heating. It is 2 to 400 MW / ° C at 19 hours. During the last 10 years, the sensitivity increased to 70 MW per year. A slowdown has been recently observed. According to the study, the future of Joule heating systems depends on their ability to intelligently control coupling and efficient insulation.

Regarding the domestic hot water (DHW), the need for electrical power could increase in the morning and evening. The power devoted to water heaters is estimated at 8 GW by RTE. The development of the thermodynamic and solar water heaters should reduce this consumption. This reduction is due to the energy-performance of these solutions. The use of tariff signals is less advantageous. The systems require more heating time which makes them unsuitable for the existing signal. Heating periods could fall during heavy household activities which consume ECS and increase the need for power. The situation is the same for solar water heaters with electric backup. This system increases consumption in the morning and evening to compensate the lack of radiation.

Nearly 10 million homes heated with electricity

RTE’s study shows that electricity consumption in mainland France was 157.9 TWh in 2013. 28% of this consumption was for heating, 13% for ECS and 3% used for ventilation and air conditioning. Last year, the rate of heating equipment was 35% and the production of electrical ECS household appliances reached 46%. This applies to just over one third of new and old buildings. A high dynamic fracture was observed compared to the decrease in the heating market share in new construction. In individual households, the decline of the use of heating Joule effect is slightly offset by the increase of CAP. The heat pump water heater use, however, increased by over 70% between 2011 and 2013.

According to the same study, the electricity consumption in the tertiary sector was 139.8 TWh. 13% was for heating, 12% for ventilation and air conditioning and 4% devoted to the ECS. Electric heating was down in recent years and the Joule effect heating has lost 10 points in 3 years. Gas boilers and CAP replace this system. Gas solutions come to replace the branches traditionally associated with gas. They are offset by the CAP in the branches heated by electricity. This study indicates that the share of tertiary air surfaces should be increased, but the unit consumption should decrease with improved system performance.