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Title: Building America Case Study: Heat Pump Water Heater Ducting Strategies with Encapsulated Attics in Climate Zones 2 and 4, LaFayette, Georgia (CZ4), and Savannah, Georgia (CZ2)

Abstract

The focus of this study is on the performance of HPWHs with several different duct configurations and their effects on whole building heating, cooling, and moisture loads. A.O. Smith 60 gallon Voltex (PHPT-60) heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) were included at two project sites and ducted to or located within spray foamed encapsulated attics. The effect of ducting a HPWH's air stream does not diminish its efficiency if the ducting does not reduce intake air temperature, which expands HPWH application to confined areas. Exhaust ducts should be insulated to avoid condensation on the exterior, however this imposes a risk of condensation occurring in the duct's interior near the HPWH due to large variation of temperatures between the compressor and the duct and the presence of bulk moisture around the condenser. The HPWH's air conditioning impact on HVAC equipment loads is minimal when the intake and exhaust air streams are connected to a sealed attic and not the living space. A HPWH is not suitable as a replacement dehumidifier in sealed attics as peak moisture loads were observed to only be reduced if the heat pump operated during the morning. It appears that the intake air temperature and humidity was themore » most dominant variable affecting HPWH performance. Different ducting strategies such as exhaust duct only, intake duct only, and exhaust and intake ducting did not have any effect on HPWH performance.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Partnership for Home Innovation (PHI)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B) (Building America)
OSTI Identifier:
1358073
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO-102017-4754
7643
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
residential; residential buildings; PHI; Building America; heat pump water heater; HPWH; ducted; enclosed attic; conditioned attic; sealed attic; water heating; energy efficiency; high performance

Citation Formats

V. Kochkin, M. Sweet. Building America Case Study: Heat Pump Water Heater Ducting Strategies with Encapsulated Attics in Climate Zones 2 and 4, LaFayette, Georgia (CZ4), and Savannah, Georgia (CZ2). United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
V. Kochkin, M. Sweet. Building America Case Study: Heat Pump Water Heater Ducting Strategies with Encapsulated Attics in Climate Zones 2 and 4, LaFayette, Georgia (CZ4), and Savannah, Georgia (CZ2). United States.
V. Kochkin, M. Sweet. Wed . "Building America Case Study: Heat Pump Water Heater Ducting Strategies with Encapsulated Attics in Climate Zones 2 and 4, LaFayette, Georgia (CZ4), and Savannah, Georgia (CZ2)". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1358073.
@article{osti_1358073,
title = {Building America Case Study: Heat Pump Water Heater Ducting Strategies with Encapsulated Attics in Climate Zones 2 and 4, LaFayette, Georgia (CZ4), and Savannah, Georgia (CZ2)},
author = {V. Kochkin, M. Sweet},
abstractNote = {The focus of this study is on the performance of HPWHs with several different duct configurations and their effects on whole building heating, cooling, and moisture loads. A.O. Smith 60 gallon Voltex (PHPT-60) heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) were included at two project sites and ducted to or located within spray foamed encapsulated attics. The effect of ducting a HPWH's air stream does not diminish its efficiency if the ducting does not reduce intake air temperature, which expands HPWH application to confined areas. Exhaust ducts should be insulated to avoid condensation on the exterior, however this imposes a risk of condensation occurring in the duct's interior near the HPWH due to large variation of temperatures between the compressor and the duct and the presence of bulk moisture around the condenser. The HPWH's air conditioning impact on HVAC equipment loads is minimal when the intake and exhaust air streams are connected to a sealed attic and not the living space. A HPWH is not suitable as a replacement dehumidifier in sealed attics as peak moisture loads were observed to only be reduced if the heat pump operated during the morning. It appears that the intake air temperature and humidity was the most dominant variable affecting HPWH performance. Different ducting strategies such as exhaust duct only, intake duct only, and exhaust and intake ducting did not have any effect on HPWH performance.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • The focus of this study is on the performance of HPWHs with several different duct configurations and their effects on whole building heating, cooling, and moisture loads. A.O. Smith 60 gallon Voltex (PHPT-60) heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) were included at two project sites and ducted to or located within spray foamed encapsulated attics. The effect of ducting a HPWH's air stream does not diminish its efficiency if the ducting does not reduce intake air temperature, which expands HPWH application to confined areas. Exhaust ducts should be insulated to avoid condensation on the exterior, however this imposes a risk ofmore » condensation occurring in the duct's interior near the HPWH due to large variation of temperatures between the compressor and the duct and the presence of bulk moisture around the condenser. The HPWH's air conditioning impact on HVAC equipment loads is minimal when the intake and exhaust air streams are connected to a sealed attic and not the living space. A HPWH is not suitable as a replacement dehumidifier in sealed attics as peak moisture loads were observed to only be reduced if the heat pump operated during the morning. It appears that the intake air temperature and humidity was the most dominant variable affecting HPWH performance. Different ducting strategies such as exhaust duct only, intake duct only, and exhaust and intake ducting did not have any effect on HPWH performance.« less
  • The focus of this study is on the performance of HPWHs with several different duct configurations and their effects on whole building heating, cooling, and moisture loads. A.O. Smith 60 gallon Voltex (PHPT-60) heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) were included at two project sites and ducted to or located within spray foamed encapsulated attics. The effect of ducting a HPWH's air stream does not diminish its efficiency if the ducting does not reduce intake air temperature, which expands HPWH application to confined areas. Exhaust ducts should be insulated to avoid condensation on the exterior, however this imposes a risk ofmore » condensation occurring in the duct's interior near the HPWH due to large variation of temperatures between the compressor and the duct and the presence of bulk moisture around the condenser. The HPWH's air conditioning impact on HVAC equipment loads is minimal when the intake and exhaust air streams are connected to a sealed attic and not the living space. A HPWH is not suitable as a replacement dehumidifier in sealed attics as peak moisture loads were observed to only be reduced if the heat pump operated during the morning. It appears that the intake air temperature and humidity was the most dominant variable affecting HPWH performance. Different ducting strategies such as exhaust duct only, intake duct only, and exhaust and intake ducting did not have any effect on HPWH performance.« less
  • The focus of this study is on the performance of HPWHs with several different duct configurations and their effects on whole building heating, cooling, and moisture loads. A.O. Smith 60 gallon Voltex (PHPT-60) heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) were included at two project sites and ducted to or located within spray foamed encapsulated attics. The effect of ducting a HPWH's air stream does not diminish its efficiency if the ducting does not reduce intake air temperature, which expands HPWH application to confined areas.
  • Rea Ventures Group, LLC, (Rea Ventures) partnered with Southface Energy Institute (Southface) on the rehabilitation of 418 low-income rental multifamily apartments located at 14 different properties in Georgia (Climate Zones 2-4). These 22-year old, individually-metered units were arranged in rowhouse or townhouse style units. Rehabilitation plans were developed using a process prescribed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program, who partially funded the building upgrades. The USDA is responsible for building, upgrading, and subsidizing housing in rural areas nationwide. In 2012, over $100 million was allocated in grants and loans. Due to the unique financing mechanism asmore » well as long-term ownership requirements, property owners are especially motivated to invest in upgrades that will increase durability and tenant retention. These buildings represent a large stock of rural affordable housing that have the potential for significant energy and cost savings for property owners and tenants. Southface analyzed the energy upgrade potential of one stereotypical property in the Rea Ventures portfolio. This study will provide insight into the most cost-effective, implementable energy efficiency and durability upgrades for this age multifamily housing, having an enormous impact not only on the portfolio of Rea Ventures but on the vast USDA and larger Federal portfolio. Additionally, Southface will identify gaps in the current capital needs assessment process, examine available audit and simulation tools and protocols, and evaluate additional auditor training or certification needs.« less
  • Heat pump water heaters offer a significant opportunity to improve water heating performance for the over 40% of U.S. households that heat domestic hot water using electric resistance storage water heaters. Numerous field studies have also been completed documenting performance in a variety of climates and applications. More recent evaluation efforts have focused attention on the performance of May through September 2014, with ongoing winter monitoring being sponsored by California utility partners. Summer results show favorable system performance with extrapolated annual water heating savings of 1,466 to 2,300 kWh per year, based on the observed hot water loads. Additional summermore » space cooling benefits savings of 121 to 135 kWh per year were projected, further increasing the water heating savings by 5-9%. Given the project schedule for 2014 completion, no heating season impacts were able to be monitored. May through September 2014, with ongoing winter monitoring being sponsored by California utility partners. Summer results show favorable system performance with extrapolated annual water heating savings of 1,466 to 2,300 kWh per year, based on the observed hot water loads. Additional summer space cooling benefits savings of 121 to 135 kWh per year were projected, further increasing the water heating savings by 5-9%. Given the project schedule for 2014 completion, no heating season impacts were able to be monitored.« less