From conception to success: The Caldea project

Heat pumps: We will tell you what they are, what advantages they have and how they have managed to turn our Caldea project into an energy production solution that reduces CO emissions.

What is a heat pump?

heat pump is thermal equipment capable of taking energy in the form of heat existing in the air, water or soil, in order to use it to produce heating, cooling and domestic hot water. It is a machines designed to extract heat and transport it to another environment, and can often operate reversibly, so it can cool or heat as required.

The heat pump process is based on a closed circuit in which energy is exchanged using a refrigeration fluid in a liquid state and which is cold. This cold fluid absorbs the heat and then when it is passed into an evaporation chamber in a gaseous and hot state, it releases all the heat and cools down. The heat exchanger is the area where heat transfer takes place. It can be with the air (aerothermal), with water (hydrothermal) or with the earth (geothermal).

There are different types of heat pumps depending on the heat exchanger: air-air, water-air, air-water, water-water, earth-air or earth-water, that we offer our clients from Endesa X, that offers services and solutions to accelerate innovation and drive energy transition, while providing innovative solutions that support energy transition, turning the goals of decarbonisation and electrification into beneficial activities for cities, businesses and people in a constantly changing world.

Roberto Díaz, Product Manager HVAC for Endesa X B2B made the following comment: "For Endesa X this is already a reality that we have been offering and implementing to our customers for a long time now. Our commitment to this technology offers a wide range of solutions focussed on decarbonising the thermal processes in your installations. They all seek to use ecological refrigerants and the best high-performance equipment on the market".

Even though the main benefit of heat pumps is the economic saving, this is not the only advantage. Heat pumps also have the following characteristics:


They are efficient

They reduce consumption by up to 75% compared to a condensing boiler.


They are respectful of the environment

They do not cause local emission of pollutants. 

They generate savings

They can generate savings of between 40% and 70% compared to other systems.

They are easy to install

The technology is well tested and there only needs to be enough space.

Main advantages of heat pumps

The use of heat pumps provides significant saving of primary energy so they are very respectful with the environment and also offer possibilities to reduce dependence on exterior energy. Here is a breakdown of the advantages:

  • It is a very versatile technology which can be used both for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water during all seasons of the year.
  • It is very clean, because it does not involve fumes, gases or ashes, thus avoiding possible problems with combustion as is the case with other energy sources.
  • It is convenient, since it enables an area to be supplied with energy without having to contract a gas supply.
  • It requires very simple maintenance with extensively tested technologies.
  • They increase both energy efficiency and decarbonisation. This means they are aligned with the Objectives of the European Union with regard to energy efficiency, using energy from renewable sources and a reduction of emissions into the atmosphere.
  • The production of energy is more efficient than when using gas, since it multiplies the thermal power that is acquired from the energy captured free of charge from the outside environment and involves a low consumption of electricity.
  • By reducing gas consumption, it reduces imports of energy from third countries.

To summarise, heat pumps are an efficient system, with economic savings and they have a lower impact on the environment.

Innovation: The key to making them even more environmentally friendly

Innovation has resulted in the development of systems that use CO2 as a coolant, making them even more environmentally sustainable systems due to the characteristics of the gas and because they significantly improve performance.

COis a natural refrigerant that has a zero environmental impact, as it exists in nature or can be obtained as a by-product in industrial processes. This means it can be presented as a clear substitute for synthetic refrigerants, which have a negative effect on the environment.

The Caldea project

Endesa is working on decarbonisation, electrification, digitalisation and customer focus. This is how the Caldea project came about. An energy production solution based on heat pumps that reduce CO2 emissions, electrify demand and use the latest digital technologies to develop a product that focusses on the customer.

The Caldea project was implemented in the Faro Jandía hotel, a four-star hotel with a total of 270 rooms located in the southern part of the island Fuerteventura. This hotel used propane boilers to produce domestic hot water and they consumed 61,000 kg of propane per year. We installed five water heat pumps that produce 125 kW of heat for hot water and 85 kW for air conditioning. The entire installation was controlled by a digitalised, intelligent system on the cloud.

Once the installation had been completed, it was possible to generate the necessary energy, both for the air conditioning system, and for producing hot water for showers, the kitchen and the spas throughout the hotel. This process increased the efficiency of the energy production system by more than 80% compared to the previous one, since the energy provided by the heat pumps could be multiplied by up to five.

Following the completion of the project, the hotel did not consume any more propane during the summer months. The Caldea project was not only a success from the point of view of innovation, it also managed to significantly reduce the environmental impact and resulted in an energy cost saving for the Faro Jandía hotel of 20% from the outset, and more than 70% by the end of the project.

José Minguez, head of Innovation Market Iberia Endesa and the Caldea project, assures us that "this project, together with the virtualisation project for the 3D-360º installation that can be seen in the first video, clearly demonstrate our commitment to Innovability and the value that Start-ups can contribute in our open innovation model, supported by Innovability".

“The Caldea project is a clear example of our commitment to Open Innovation”.

– José Mínguez, Head of Market Innovation Iberia Endesa and the Caldea project

Caldea has already been included in the 101 Stories on Innovation with an article published and entitled 'From conception to success', which consists of more than 100 articles from corporations and key players with regard to examples of success in an innovative ecosystem.

Cover of the book 101 Stories on Innovation.

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