Volume 41: Energy Transitions toward Carbon Neutrality: Part IV

Development and validation of data-driven soft sensors for heat pumps Yang Song, Davide Rolando, Javier Marchante Avellaneda, Gerhard Zucker, Hatef Madani



Modern heat pump systems often come equipped with sensors, enabling the collection of substantial operational data. However, many residential heat pumps installed in preceding decades lack pressure sensors, energy meters, or mass flow meters, primarily due to financial limitations. As a result of these incomplete measurements, the direct analysis of the heat pump system’s performance or the leveraging of the amassed data for inventive applications like prognosticating energy consumption, detecting and diagnosing faults, and implementing intelligent control becomes challenging.
In existing literature, the focus of soft sensors in heat pump systems has been on estimating a single parameter. This approach, however, overlooks the reality that multiple parameters are often missing due to the lack of all-encompassing physical meters and sensors. Furthermore, current soft sensor models are typically developed using inputs such as compressor power consumption, pressures, evaporation, and condensation temperatures. These inputs, unfortunately, tend to be inaccessible within existing heat pump monitoring installations.
In practice, it is a challenge to compensate for several critical measurements, encompassing mass flow rate, pressures, power consumption, and heating capacity, by using only commonly available sensors such as secondary loop temperatures and compressor frequency are available. Currently, there is a notable gap in research concerning this practical issue.
To address the problems associated with inadequate measurements, this study presents the development and validation of soft sensors based on a data-driven approach, which can compensate for the parameters often unavailable with data collected from a limited number of commonly used sensors. Each component model employs a multivariate polynomial regression that calculates the evaporation temperature, condensation temperature, mass flow rate, and compressor power consumption, respectively. Subsequently, we present an integrated heat pump model that combines these component models into a comprehensive heat pump model.
Finally, we validate the data-driven model against field test installations, demonstrating its accuracy with a relative root mean squared error (RRMSE) ranging from 10% to 20%.

Keywords heat pump, data-driven, soft sensor, empirical model, polynomial regression

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