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Title: Building America Case Study: Impact of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps, Cocoa, Florida

Abstract

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 system compared to the fixed-capacity system.

Publication Date:
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)
OSTI Identifier:
1351566
Report Number(s):
NREL/FS-5500-64696; DOE/GO-102017-4721
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
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

. Building America Case Study: Impact of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps, Cocoa, Florida. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
. Building America Case Study: Impact of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps, Cocoa, Florida. United States.
. Sat . "Building America Case Study: Impact of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps, Cocoa, Florida". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1351566.
@article{osti_1351566,
title = {Building America Case Study: Impact of Improved Duct Insulation on Fixed-Capacity (SEER 13) and Variable-Capacity (SEER 22) Heat Pumps, Cocoa, Florida},
author = {},
abstractNote = {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 system compared to the fixed-capacity system.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • 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 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 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
  • Heat transfer to slab foundations has remained an area of building science with poor understanding over the last three decades of energy efficiency research. This is somewhat surprising since the area of floors in single family homes is generally equal to wall, or windows or attics which have been extensively evaluated. Research that has been done has focused in the impact of slab on grade foundations and insulation schemes on heat losses associated with heating in predominantly heating dominated climates. Slab on grade construction is very popular in cooling-dominated southern states where it accounts for 77 percent of new homemore » floors according to U.S. Census data in 2014. There is a widespread conception that tile flooring, as opposed to carpet, makes for a cooler home interior in warm climates. Empirical research is needed as building energy simulations such as DOE-2 and EnergyPlus rely on simplified models to evaluate these influences. BA-PIRC performed experiments over an entire year from 2014-2015 in FSEC's Flexible Residential Test Facilities (FRTF) intended to assess for the first time 1) slab on grade influence in a cooling dominated climate, and 2) how the difference in a carpeted vs. uncarpeted building might influence heating and cooling. Two identical side by side residential buildings were evaluated, the East with pad and carpet and the west with a bare slab floor. A highly detailed grid of temperature measurements were taken on the slab surface at various locations as well as at depths of 1, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 feet.« less
  • Heat transfer to slab foundations has remained an area of building science with poor understanding over the last three decades of energy efficiency research. This is somewhat surprising since the area of floors in single family homes is generally equal to wall, or windows or attics which have been extensively evaluated. Research that has been done has focused in the impact of slab on grade foundations and insulation schemes on heat losses associated with heating in predominantly heating dominated climates. Slab on grade construction is very popular in cooling-dominated southern states where it accounts for 77 percent of new homemore » floors according to U.S. Census data in 2014. There is a widespread conception that tile flooring, as opposed to carpet, makes for a cooler home interior in warm climates. Empirical research is needed as building energy simulations such as DOE-2 and EnergyPlus rely on simplified models to evaluate these influences. BA-PIRC performed experiments over an entire year from 2014-2015 in FSEC's Flexible Residential Test Facilities (FRTF) intended to assess for the first time 1) slab on grade influence in a cooling dominated climate, and 2) how the difference in a carpeted vs. uncarpeted building might influence heating and cooling. Two identical side by side residential buildings were evaluated, the East with pad and carpet and the west with a bare slab floor. A highly detailed grid of temperature measurements were taken on the slab surface at various locations as well as at depths of 1, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 feet.« less