Flexible Heat and Power,

connecting heat and power networks

by harnessing the complexity

in distributed thermal flexibility

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731231

The inertia of power to heat solutions constitutes an enormous potential for electric flexibility. Thermal inertia of buildings and thermal storage holds a lot of flexibility. Heat pumps, central heating and cooling installations, and forced ventilation systems act as interfaces connecting the thermal storage and inertia to the electrical distribution grid.
Power to heat solutions can be used for absorbing the excess of renewable generation and avoiding curtailment while managing local power congestion, voltage stability in the grid and avoiding reversal power flows, as well as minimizing Renewable Energy Sources (RES) production imbalance.

European HVAC annual consumption (TWh)


Electricity consumption

Water and PV

Dynamic Energy Resources with thermal inertia can provide services to Renewable Energy Sources (RES) owners, grid operators, aggregators and actors on the power market, while saving energy in the buildings. Flexibility harnessing using heat to power solutions enables to deploy large-scale renewable.

The Flexible Heat and Power (FHP) project will develop a Power-to-Heat (and Cooling) solution package that manages this complexity through an easily accessible interface aimed at buildings and power grid actors. The project will include 2 demonstrators that will start being installed in ten months, in August-September 2016, in Uden a Municipality of Noord-Brabant, Netherlands and in Karlshamn Municipality in Blekinge County, Sweden.


Main objective is “To Secure mitigation of RES curtailment in the electric distribution grid by dynamic coalitions of power-to-heat resources”.

FHP has the potential to provide total thermal flexibility with the aim of increasing the share of renewables by 22% over the total electric consumption from current technical limits (40%).

FHP will develop operational strategies based on power-to-heat solutions. Electric flexibility provided by DER (Distributed Energy Resources) will combine with thermal inertia

  • to shift electric load to those moments when the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) are producing more electricity than needed, specifically those related to heating or cooling.
  • to support the technical constraints of the Distribution System Operator (DSO). For example by connecting heat pumps, it is possible to create large energy storage where electricity can be stored as heat utilizing the inertial properties of buildings.

Expected Results and Impact

Competitive products and services delivered to the market: Grid Flexible Heat Pump | Building level agent | Dynamic Coalition Management agent

Novel methodology that uses flexibility activations for real time voltage control based on a learned grid sensitivity model

Cost effectively conversion of excess of electricity to heat in order to avoid curtailment and to provide services to the grid

A contribution to integrate large share of renewables (more than 50% by 2030) in a stable and secure manner

A contribution to ongoing policy developments in the field of the design of the internal electricity market, of the retail market and ongoing discussions on self consumption

Result by NODA
Result by Honeywell

Project Information

Call: H2020-LCE-01-2016-2017

TOPIC: LCE01-2016-2017: Next generation innovative technologies enabling smart grids, storage and energy system integration with increasing share of renewables: distribution network ‑ Synergies between energy networks.

Coordinator: Vlaamse Instellling Voor Technologisch Onderzoek N.V. (VITO).

Execution period: 01/11/2016-31/10/2019.

Budget: 3,823,606.25 €.

Consortium: 7 Partners and one Linked Third Party.


karlshamn energi.se/

Structure of the Project

Click on the WPs boxes to see information about them


Work Package 1 will define the business cases, derive business models for these, and define a generic standard-based multiagent functional architecture incorporating building level agents and a Dynamic Coalition Management agent, on which each of these business models for the associated business cases can be mapped. For the field tests (WP4) this functional architecture will be mapped on a physical architecture by mapping it on the Swedish and Dutch context (country specific, current regulation).


This Work Package will start from sensor data driven building thermal inertia and comfort modelling, and use these models to determine a building level optimal day-ahead (heating/cooling) load profile forecast, as well as alternative comfort respecting profiles deviating from this optimal profile together with the associated cost.

In WP2, three very specific research activities are added related to 1) optimizing amount and location of data collecting sensors, 2) HP design optimized for offering flex services, and 3) standardizing a HP control interface for effective active energy management.

WP 3

Dynamic Coalition management agent including their implementation and simulation level testing and integration. This Work Package will use the optimal and alternative profiles from WP2 to determine an optimal coordinated setting for each of the buildings for each of the three main use cases / business cases related to local grid services we consider in this project (mitigate local RES curtailment, mitigate system-level RES curtailment by maximizing local excess power absorption, and local grid secure balancing services).

In WP3, a fourth research activity is added related to voltage correcting grid secure flex activations that does not need a grid model or power-flow calculations.

WP 4

Field Demonstrations will integrate clusters of building agents with a Dynamic Coalition Manager agent is ported to the field test locations in Sweden (with KEAB) and The Netherlands (Ecovat with subcontractor Enexis), where as a pre-check, validations will be done on VITO’s RTDS.



Uden, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

  • First Ecovat prototype is a 1,500 m3 (88,000 kWh) large thermal storage facility to heat office buildings.
  • Basic business model is based on converting excess power to heat when there is excess (so cheap) energy and use this heat later when it is needed
  • The installation has a contracted power limited to 3x80A while it could consume three times more.
  • Enexis, local DSO, is willing to explore dynamic solutions to allow Ecovat consume more energy (store thermal energy) if high production of local renewables exist.
More information
Oude Doornse molen


Karlshamn Municipality in Blekinge County, Sweden

  • KEAB small DSO in Sweden brings a demo site with
  • Wind farm that produces about 10-15 GWh.
  • 400kW power small hydro.
  • 180 kW and supplies the supermarket itself, the grid and a nearby charging facility for electrical cars.
  • Aims at controlling voltage by flexibility resources such as heat pumps or ventilation system in larger buildings
More Information


Honeywell has hosted in Prague FHP project’s first General Assembly

From 31st May to 2nd June FHP partnership has held in Prague 6 months after its kick-off meeting. Fruitful discussions about the building agents design took place during along the three days. Business models for flexibility were definitively agreed, after systematic...

kick-off meeting of the Flexible Heat and Power (FHP)

On November 23rd-24th 2016 in Brussels (Belgium), the kick-off meeting of the EU-funded R&D project named Flexible Heat and Power (FHP) has taken place. FHP main objective is “To Secure mitigation of RES curtailment in the electric distribution grid by dynamic...


For more information please contact

Mr. Chris Caerts, VITO