Approximation algorithms for scheduling a group of heat pumps

by   Jiří Fink, et al.

This paper studies planning problems for a group of heating systems which supply the hot water demand for domestic use in houses. These systems (e.g. gas or electric boilers, heat pumps or microCHPs) use an external energy source to heat up water and store this hot water for supplying the domestic demands. The latter allows to some extent a decoupling of the heat production from the heat demand. We focus on the situation where each heating system has its own demand and buffer and the supply of the heating systems is coming from a common source. In practice, the common source may lead to a coupling of the planning for the group of heating systems. The bottleneck to supply the energy may be the capacity of the distribution system (e.g. the electricity networks or the gas network). As this has to be dimensioned for the maximal consumption, it is important to minimize the maximal peak. This planning problem is known to be -hard. We present polynomial-time approximation algorithms for four variants of peak minimization problems, and we determine the worst-case approximation error.


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