The heating and cooling sector, responsible for a large fraction of greenhouse emissions, may have a large scale impact on the energy system evolution contributing to smart industrial and domestic electrification; at the same time the recent increase of renewable energy sources installation, posing a threat in terms of grid stability, makes available a considerable amount of clean and cheap electrical energy during peak hours production. Power to heat technologies constitute a promising solution to face both these issues reducing the electric demand variability and decarbonizing the heat production. Large vapor compression heat pumps are a reliable technology able to compete, under the economic point of view, with the heat-only-boilers in order to serve district heating networks. Performance and economic profitability of a compression cycle is strongly dependent on available thermal source and the temperature of water delivered to the network. The present work explores and compares performance and economic indicators under different installation conditions, considering compression heat pumps employing four different fluids: a traditional HCF (R134a) and three natural fluids, ammonia (R717), butane (R600), and propane (R290), often preferred nowadays to HCFs due to the lower global warming potential.
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