Passiv UK to develop new smart heat pump control hub as part of Heat Pump Ready programme

June, 2024

Passiv UK has been selected by the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero to develop a new smart control hub for heat pumps to enable efficient, flexible and user-friendly operation. The Smart Temperature Automation Technology (STAT) project is part of the Heat Pump Ready programme and will see Passiv develop new hardware for the Passiv Smart Thermostat, enabling simpler heat pump controls at a lower cost. The project has been awarded funding of £989,691 as part of the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

The UK Government is targeting 600,000 heat pump installations a year by 2028. However, there are a number of barriers to achieving this, including complex installations, rising electricity costs and the difficulties for consumers in adapting to an unfamiliar heating system. In addition, as heat pump adoption increases, electricity demand on the National Grid will grow. To ensure that electricity supply remains secure, heat pumps will have to form part of a smart, flexible energy system and be capable of adjusting their operation in response to national electricity requirements.

This can all be enabled through smart, connected controls. The Passiv Smart Thermostat is a new smart control solution designed to get the most out of heat pumps. Simple in-home and app control makes transitioning to a heat pump easier than ever while dynamic weather compensation increases the efficiency of a heat pump by up to 17%, as verified by the Energy Saving Trust. With time of use tariff optimisation and automated flexibility with Greener Grid Payments, the Passiv Smart Thermostat lowers energy bills and helps reduce peak electricity demand.

The STAT project will further develop the Passiv Smart Thermostat to provide homeowners with an even better heat pump experience.

The core of the STAT project focuses on the Passiv Hub – the ‘brain’ of the Passiv ecosystem. Through the project, Passiv will develop new hardware to house the optimisation algorithms that drive the Passiv Smart Thermostat. One of the key aims of this development is to provide integrated connectivity to allow participation in flexibility services without depending on a homeowner’s internet connection. For domestic flexibility to succeed on a national level, it needs to be easy to participate in for everyone. Accessibility improvements such as this are essential for supporting the UK’s electricity system.

Another output of the STAT project will be the integration of the new Passiv Hub with UK smart metering infrastructure. By being able to access energy consumption data directly from a home’s smart meter, the upgraded Passiv Smart Thermostat will be able to provide accurate heat pump operation data without the need for any additional hardware. This will also enable participation in a greater range of flexibility services at no additional cost to homeowners.

The STAT project represents the latest in over a decade of innovation projects from Passiv, developing smart heat pump controls that offer the best comfort at minimal cost. With the funding from the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero, the STAT project will see the Passiv Smart Thermostat evolve into an essential component of a smart, secure energy system. Domestic flexibility will be essential for maintaining our electricity grid as heating and transport decarbonise. Innovations such as the STAT project will open this flexibility up to more participants, meaning more effective deployment and lower costs.