Development of a procedure to develop grey-box models for large-scale heat pump systems hos Teknologisk Institut

Background and Motivation

Denmark is a frontrunner in the share of renewables and district heating. Large-scale heat pumps are a key-component in this arrangement and imply the potential to facilitate a further uptake of both technologies. Heat pumps can supply heat to the district heating network in a sustainable matter, while implying the possibility to stabilize the electricity grid. In this context, the importance of heat pumps is increasing, and it becomes even more crucial that the systems are operating optimally.

The heat pump systems are typically relatively complex, which makes a numerical optimization of the detailed physical system numerically demanding. In order to facilitate the studies about the optimal operation, grey-box models may be a promising compromise in terms of content and numerical performance. This does however require the development of methods, which determine suitable model simplifications.


The suggested project aims at developing methods for deriving grey-box models from detailed systems models, which are having an improved numerical performance while maintaining the required information content. The scope of each objective may be adjusted individually.

  • Development of a dynamic model for an existing large-scale heat pump system
  • Determination of the importance of modelling parameters with respect to further studies
  • Development of methods for reducing the numerical complexity and increasing the numerical performance
  • Application of the grey-box model for system control optimization to compare the model to the detailed system model


The specific methods to be applied during the project will be determined in agreement with the student. The idea is however to use the following methods:

  • The dynamic model should be implemented in the Modelica language, using Dymola and the commercially available TIL library
  • The optimization should be conducted in Python

The project will be based on existing and operating plants and may be conducted in collaboration with the manufacturer and the operator.

Supervision and formalities

The project is designed for a master project but may be adjusted to a bachelor project. The project can be carried out at or in collaboration with the center for Refrigeration and Heat Pump Technology in the division for Energy and Climate in Aarhus. Benjamin Zühlsdorf (, +45 72201258) will be supervising the project at DTI. Feel free to contact him if you are interested and want to hear more about the project. Find more information and apply at

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