Turning up the dial on heating and cooling innovation

Part of Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.

What is the aim of this project?

The growing global use of thermal comfort systems is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This joint project (HPT TCP Annex 55/ ECES TCP Annex 34) aims to manage heating, cooling and power demand while emitting the least possible carbon, at the lowest cost, with the lowest impact on the electricity grid. The project will create an integrated heating and/or cooling system, the Comfort and Climate Box, that uses energy from several sources, including storage, combined with smart grid control.

How could this technology be explained to a high school student?

The Comfort and Climate Box will provide a combined package consisting of a heat pump, an energy storage module and controls. Energy generated will be stored for use at night, or when electricity is expensive, and will provide heating during cold days and cooling during hot days. Installation of the CCB unit could be in a laundry, basement, balcony or garden, in a broad range of the houses found in the Northern Hemisphere. 

What is the value of this project for society?

  1. optimises the use of renewable energy in buildings
  2. enables substantial energy savings
  3. helps to decarbonise heating and cooling
  4. provides cost-effective heating and cooling  

At what stage of development is this project?

The Comfort and Climate Box project started in early 2019 and is expected to run until September 2021. After a portfolio of country-specific testing and demonstration projectsis compiled, a roadmap will be established that shows the next steps of development. The roadmap will also focus on how to bring the Comfort and Climate Box to markets, and offer recommendations for market participants and policy makers on how to enhance market uptake.

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • introducing building codes that promote efficient use of electricity as an energy source for heating
  • shifting taxes from electricity to gas
  • pushing for standardised communication protocols for smart grids and/or combined solar PV control
  • funding public research and development projects and information campaigns based on results from pilot, demo or laboratory tests

By combining heat pumps, energy storage and control, the Comfort and Climate Box can help to decarbonise the energy sector by increasing the use of renewables. Source: Peter Wagener, Operating Agent, CCB


This is a joint project between two Technology Collaboration Programmes, Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP) and Energy Conservation and Energy Storage (ECES TCP), implemented under the Mission Innovation # 7 framework.


11 countries are funding the development of this project, with the Operating Agent funded by the Dutch government.

About the Technology Collaboration Programme on Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP)

Established in 1977, the HPT TCP functions as an international framework of co-operation and knowledge exchange in the field of heat pumping technologies used for heating, cooling, air-conditioning and refrigeration in buildings, industries, thermal grids and other applications.

Contact: monica.axell@ri.se

About the Technology Collaboration Programme on Energy Conservation and Energy Storage (ECES TCP)

Established in 1978, the Energy Storage TCP facilitates research, development, implementation and integration of energy storage technologies to optimise the energy efficiency of all kinds of energy systems and increase the use of renewable energy.

Contact: energystoragetcp@gmail.com