Heat pump seminar: The Benefits of APIs in heat pumps

APIs in heat pumps

Heat pumps are an increasingly popular and efficient way to heat homes and buildings. They work by extracting heat from the air or ground and using it to warm the indoor space. As with many technologies, the integration of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) into heat pumps can provide numerous benefits for users and manufacturers alike.

An API is a software intermediary that allows two or more applications to communicate with each other. It acts as a set of protocols, routines, and tools for building software applications, defining the methods of communication and the data format to be used. By providing a standard way for different applications to interact, APIs enable developers to create new applications or services that can utilize existing functionality or data from other systems. This makes it easier for businesses to integrate their software with other systems, streamlining workflows and improving efficiency.

One of the key benefits of using APIs in heat pumps is that it enables the development of smart energy efficiency controls. These controls can monitor energy consumption, optimize system performance, and help users make better-informed decisions about energy usage. By analyzing data from sensors and other sources, these controls can provide insights that enable users to optimize their energy usage and reduce their overall energy consumption.

Another advantage of using APIs is that it allows heat pumps to connect to smart grid controls. This means that heat pumps can respond to changes in the grid, such as fluctuations in energy prices, to optimize their energy usage and reduce costs for users. For example, if energy prices are high during peak hours, the heat pump can adjust its energy usage to avoid using electricity during those times.

Electricity prices soared in 2022

Why does it matter? In 2022, the average electricity price grew by 100% compared to 2021 and over 400% compared to 2020. The following image shows the average energy price of the system price and Finnish area price at Nordpool. The difference grew 12-fold in 2022, i.e. 120 EUR/MWh, compared to 2020 (10 EUR/MWh).

Here’s an example building in which Kapacity.io has implemented Spot control using APIs to the heat pump. With smart controls, an average building can save easily 15% in electricity costs without an effect on the indoor climate. 

The site in this figure is a residential building with ground source heat pumps. The example is from January 2023.

Ways to speed up API development

Despite the benefits of using APIs in heat pumps, the heat pump sector has been slow to embrace digitalization. One of the main reasons for this is the complexity of the heat pumps. Heat pumps are complex systems that require a high level of technical expertise to design and manufacture. 

When establishing connections to heat pump manufacturers’ cloud servers, the best APIs have the following three points in common:

  1. Plug & Play: Starting up with the connection is easy for the end customer,
  2. Clear ontology: Data comes in a standard manner over the API, and
  3. Negligible latencies: it’s fast to read and write over the API.

However, the benefits of digitalization in the heat pump sector are too significant to ignore. By integrating APIs, smart energy efficiency controls, and smart grid controls, heat pumps can become more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. Moreover, as more buildings and homes switch to renewable energy sources like heat pumps, there will be an increasing need for smart controls that can manage energy usage and integrate with the grid.

In conclusion, while the heat pump sector has been slow to embrace digitalization, the benefits of integrating APIs and smart controls into heat pumps are too significant to ignore. By investing in new technologies and embracing the digital revolution, the heat pump sector can become more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. This will not only benefit users but also contribute to the development of a more sustainable energy future.

We’re working on sharing more experiences on best practices in building APIs for heat pumps. Interested in heating more? Contact us at hello@kapacity.io

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