NREL Tests Integrated Heat Pump Water Heater Performance in Different Climates (Fact Sheet)

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This technical highlight describes NREL tests to capture information about heat pump performance across a wide range of ambient conditions for five heat pump water heaters (HPWH). These water heaters have the potential to significantly reduce water heater energy use relative to traditional electric resistance water heaters. These tests have provided detailed performance data for these appliances, which have been used to evaluate the cost of saved energy as a function of climate. The performance of HPWHs is dependent on ambient air temperature and humidity and the logic controlling the heat pump and the backup resistance heaters. The laboratory tests ... continued below

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1 pg.

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Creator: Unknown. January 1, 2012.

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Description

This technical highlight describes NREL tests to capture information about heat pump performance across a wide range of ambient conditions for five heat pump water heaters (HPWH). These water heaters have the potential to significantly reduce water heater energy use relative to traditional electric resistance water heaters. These tests have provided detailed performance data for these appliances, which have been used to evaluate the cost of saved energy as a function of climate. The performance of HPWHs is dependent on ambient air temperature and humidity and the logic controlling the heat pump and the backup resistance heaters. The laboratory tests were designed to measure each unit's performance across a range of air conditions and determine the specific logic controlling the two heat sources, which has a large effect on the comfort of the users and the energy efficiency of the system. Unlike other types of water heaters, HPWHs are both influenced by and have an effect on their surroundings. Since these effects are complex and different for virtually every house and climate region, creating an accurate HPWH model from the data gathered during the laboratory tests was a main goal of the project. Using the results from NREL's laboratory tests, such as the Coefficient of Performance (COP) curves for different air conditions as shown in Figure 1, an existing HPWH model is being modified to produce more accurate whole-house simulations. This will allow the interactions between the HPWH and the home's heating and cooling system to be evaluated in detail, for any climate region. Once these modeling capabilities are in place, a realistic cost-benefit analysis can be performed for a HPWH installation anywhere in the country. An accurate HPWH model will help to quantify the savings associated with installing a HPWH in the place of a standard electric water heater. In most locations, HPWHs are not yet a cost-effective alternative to natural gas water heaters. The detailed system performance maps that were developed by this testing program will be used to: (1) Target regions of the country that would benefit most from this technology; (2) Identify improvements in current systems to maximize homeowner cost savings; and (3) Explore opportunities for development of advanced hot water heating systems.

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1 pg.

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  • Related Information: Building America: Technical Highlight, Building Technologies Program (BTP)

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO-102012-3313
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1034216 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1034216
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc840572

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • January 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Sept. 6, 2016, 6:56 p.m.

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NREL Tests Integrated Heat Pump Water Heater Performance in Different Climates (Fact Sheet), report, January 1, 2012; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc840572/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.