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Title: Regional Variation in Residential Heat Pump Water Heater Performance in the U.S.

Residential heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) have recently re-emerged on the U.S. market, and they have the potential to provide homeowners significant cost and energy savings. However, actual in use performance of a HPWH will vary significantly with climate, installation location, HVAC equipment, and hot water use. To determine the actual energy consumption of a HPWH in different U.S. regions, annual simulations of both 50 and 80 gallon HPWHs as well as a standard electric water heater were performed for over 900 locations across the United States. The simulations included a benchmark home to take into account interactions between the space conditioning equipment and the HPWH and a realistic hot water draw profile. It was found that the HPWH will always save some source energy when compared to a standard electric resistance water heater, although savings varies widely with location. In addition to looking at source energy savings, the breakeven cost (the net installed cost a HPWH would have to have to be a cost neutral replacement for a standard water heater) was also examined. The highest breakeven costs were seen in cases with high energy savings, such as the southeastern U.S., or high energy costs, such as New Englandmore » and California. While the breakeven cost is higher for 80 gallon units than 50 gallon units, the higher net installed costs of an 80 gallon unit lead to the 50 gallon HPWHs being more likely to be cost effective.« less
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
residential; Residential Buildings; NREL; Building America; Heat pump water heater; Regional variation; water heating