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Title: Final Report: Cooling Seasonal Energy and Peak Demand Impacts of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps

Abstract

A new generation of full variable-capacity, central, ducted air-conditioning (AC) and heat pump units has come on the market, and they promise to deliver increased cooling (and heating) efficiency. They are controlled differently than standard single-capacity (fixed-capacity) systems. Instead of cycling on at full capacity and then cycling off when the thermostat is satisfied, they can vary their capacity over a wide range (approximately 40% to 118% of nominal full capacity), thus staying “on” for up to twice as many hours per day compared to fixed-capacity systems of the same nominal capacity. The heating and cooling capacity is varied by adjusting the indoor fan air flow rate, compressor, and refrigerant flow rate as well as the outdoor unit fan air flow rate. Note that two-stage AC or heat pump systems were not evaluated in this research effort. The term dwell is used to refer to the amount of time distributed air spends inside ductwork during space-conditioning cycles. Longer run times mean greater dwell time and therefore greater exposure to conductive gains and losses.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), Cocoa, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), Cocoa, FL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B). Building America Program
OSTI Identifier:
1324529
Report Number(s):
NREL/SR-5500-64695; DOE/GO-102016-4720
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; KNDJ-0-40339-02
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; residential; Residential Buildings; BA-PIRC; Building America; variable capacity heat pump; duct insulation; seasonal cooling energy; peak demand; space conditioning

Citation Formats

Withers, C., Cummings, J., and Nigusse, B. Final Report: Cooling Seasonal Energy and Peak Demand Impacts of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1324529.
Withers, C., Cummings, J., & Nigusse, B. Final Report: Cooling Seasonal Energy and Peak Demand Impacts of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps. United States. doi:10.2172/1324529.
Withers, C., Cummings, J., and Nigusse, B. 2016. "Final Report: Cooling Seasonal Energy and Peak Demand Impacts of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps". United States. doi:10.2172/1324529. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1324529.
@article{osti_1324529,
title = {Final Report: Cooling Seasonal Energy and Peak Demand Impacts of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps},
author = {Withers, C. and Cummings, J. and Nigusse, B.},
abstractNote = {A new generation of full variable-capacity, central, ducted air-conditioning (AC) and heat pump units has come on the market, and they promise to deliver increased cooling (and heating) efficiency. They are controlled differently than standard single-capacity (fixed-capacity) systems. Instead of cycling on at full capacity and then cycling off when the thermostat is satisfied, they can vary their capacity over a wide range (approximately 40% to 118% of nominal full capacity), thus staying “on” for up to twice as many hours per day compared to fixed-capacity systems of the same nominal capacity. The heating and cooling capacity is varied by adjusting the indoor fan air flow rate, compressor, and refrigerant flow rate as well as the outdoor unit fan air flow rate. Note that two-stage AC or heat pump systems were not evaluated in this research effort. The term dwell is used to refer to the amount of time distributed air spends inside ductwork during space-conditioning cycles. Longer run times mean greater dwell time and therefore greater exposure to conductive gains and losses.},
doi = {10.2172/1324529},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • A new generation of full variable-capacity, central, ducted air-conditioning (AC) and heat pump units has come on the market, and they promise to deliver increased cooling (and heating) efficiency. They are controlled differently than standard single-capacity (fixed-capacity) systems. Instead of cycling on at full capacity and then cycling off when the thermostat is satisfied, they can vary their capacity over a wide range (approximately 40% to 118% of nominal full capacity), thus staying “on” for up to twice as many hours per day compared to fixed-capacity systems of the same nominal capacity. The heating and cooling capacity is varied bymore » adjusting the indoor fan air flow rate, compressor, and refrigerant flow rate as well as the outdoor unit fan air flow rate. Note that two-stage AC or heat pump systems were not evaluated in this research effort. The term dwell is used to refer to the amount of time distributed air spends inside ductwork during space-conditioning cycles. Longer run times mean greater dwell time and therefore greater exposure to conductive gains and losses.« less
  • A new generation of central, ducted variable-capacity heat pump systems has come on the market, promising very high cooling and heating efficiency. Instead of cycling on at full capacity and then cycling off when the thermostat is satisfied, they vary their cooling and heating output over a wide range (approximately 40 to 118% of nominal full capacity); thus, staying 'on' for 60% to 100% more hours per day compared to fixed-capacity systems. Current Phase 4 experiments in an instrumented lab home with simulated occupancy evaluate the impact of duct R-value enhancement on the overall operating efficiency of the variable-capacity systemmore » compared to the fixed-capacity system.« less
  • A new generation of central, ducted variable-capacity heat pump systems has come on the market, promising very high cooling and heating efficiency. Instead of cycling on at full capacity and then cycling off when the thermostat is satisfied, they vary their cooling and heating output over a wide range (approximately 40 to 118% of nominal full capacity); thus, staying 'on' for 60% to 100% more hours per day compared to fixed-capacity systems. Current Phase 4 experiments in an instrumented lab home with simulated occupancy evaluate the impact of duct R-value enhancement on the overall operating efficiency of the variable-capacity systemmore » compared to the fixed-capacity system.« less
  • This report describes results of experiments that were conducted in an unoccupied 1600 square foot house--the Manufactured Housing (MH Lab) at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)--to evaluate the delivered performance as well as the relative performance of a SEER 21 variable capacity heat pump versus a SEER 13 heat pump. The performance was evaluated with two different duct systems: a standard attic duct system and an indoor duct system located in a dropped-ceiling space.
  • This report describes results of experiments that were conducted in an unoccupied 1600 square foot house--the Manufactured Housing (MH Lab) at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)--to evaluate the delivered performance as well as the relative performance of a SEER 21 variable capacity heat pump versus a SEER 13 heat pump. The performance was evaluated with two different duct systems: a standard attic duct system and an indoor duct system located in a dropped-ceiling space.