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Title: Impact of Ducting on Heat Pump Water Heater Space Conditioning Energy Use and Comfort

Increasing penetration of heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) in the residential sector will offer an important opportunity for energy savings, with a theoretical energy savings of up to 63% per water heater and up to 11% of residential energy use (EIA 2009). However, significant barriers must be overcome before this technology will reach widespread adoption in the Pacific Northwest region and nationwide. One significant barrier noted by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is the possible interaction with the homes’ space conditioning system for units installed in conditioned spaces. Such complex interactions may decrease the magnitude of whole-house savings available from HPWH installed in the conditioned space in cold climates and could lead to comfort concerns (Larson et al. 2011; Kresta 2012). Modeling studies indicate that the installation location of HPWHs can significantly impact their performance and the resultant whole-house energy savings (Larson et al. 2012; Maguire et al. 2013). However, field data are not currently available to validate these results. This field evaluation of two GE GeoSpring HPWHs in the PNNL Lab Homes is designed to measure the performance and impact on the Lab Home HVAC system of a GE GeoSpring HPWH configured with exhaust ducting compared to anmore » unducted GeoSpring HPWH during heating and cooling season periods; and measure the performance and impact on the Lab Home HVAC system of the GeoSpring HPWH with both supply and exhaust air ducting as compared to an unducted GeoSpring HPWH during heating and cooling season periods. Important metrics evaluated in these experiments include water heater energy use, HVAC energy use, whole house energy use, interior temperatures (as a proxy for thermal comfort), and cost impacts. This technical report presents results from the PNNL Lab Homes experiment.« less
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Report Number(s):
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
energy efficiency; heat pump water heater; space conditioning interaction; PNNL Lab Homes