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Title: Building America Case Study: Indoor Heat Pump Water Heaters During Summer in a Hot-Dry Climate, Redding, California

Abstract

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.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Alliance for Residential Building Innovation (ARBI)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B) (Building America)
OSTI Identifier:
1364226
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO-102017-4649
7676
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
residential; residential buildings; Building America; ARBI; heat pump; water heating; hot-dry

Citation Formats

M. Hoeschele, M. Seitzler. Building America Case Study: Indoor Heat Pump Water Heaters During Summer in a Hot-Dry Climate, Redding, California. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
M. Hoeschele, M. Seitzler. Building America Case Study: Indoor Heat Pump Water Heaters During Summer in a Hot-Dry Climate, Redding, California. United States.
M. Hoeschele, M. Seitzler. 2017. "Building America Case Study: Indoor Heat Pump Water Heaters During Summer in a Hot-Dry Climate, Redding, California". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1364226.
@article{osti_1364226,
title = {Building America Case Study: Indoor Heat Pump Water Heaters During Summer in a Hot-Dry Climate, Redding, California},
author = {M. Hoeschele, M. Seitzler},
abstractNote = {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.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 6
}
  • 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
  • Although heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) have gained significant attention in recent years as a high efficiency electric water heating solution for single family homes, central HPWHs for commercial or multi-family applications are not as well documented in terms of measured performance and cost effectiveness. To evaluate this technology, the Alliance for Residential Building Innovation team monitored the performance of a 10.5 ton central HPWH installed on a student apartment building at the West Village Zero Net Energy Community in Davis, California. Monitoring data collected over a 16-month period were then used to validate a TRNSYS simulation model. The TRNSYSmore » model was then used to project performance in different climates using local electric rates. Results of the study indicate that after some initial commissioning issues, the HPWH operated reliably with an annual average efficiency of 2.12 (Coefficient of Performance). The observed efficiency was lower than the unit's rated efficiency, primarily due to the fact that the system rarely operated under steady-state conditions. Changes in the system configuration, storage tank sizing, and control settings would likely improve the observed field efficiency. Modeling results suggest significant energy savings relative to electric storage water heating systems (typical annual efficiencies around 0.90) providing for typical simple paybacks of six to ten years without any incentives. The economics versus gas water heating are currently much more challenging given the current low natural gas prices in much of the country. Increased market size for this technology would benefit cost effectiveness and spur greater technology innovation.« less
  • Although heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) have gained significant attention in recent years as a high efficiency electric water heating solution for single family homes, central HPWHs for commercial or multi-family applications are not as well documented in terms of measured performance and cost effectiveness. To evaluate this technology, the Alliance for Residential Building Innovation team monitored the performance of a 10.5 ton central HPWH installed on a student apartment building at the West Village Zero Net Energy Community in Davis, California. Monitoring data collected over a 16-month period were then used to validate a TRNSYS simulation model. The TRNSYSmore » model was then used to project performance in different climates using local electric rates. Results of the study indicate that after some initial commissioning issues, the HPWH operated reliably with an annual average efficiency of 2.12 (Coefficient of Performance). The observed efficiency was lower than the unit's rated efficiency, primarily due to the fact that the system rarely operated under steady-state conditions. Changes in the system configuration, storage tank sizing, and control settings would likely improve the observed field efficiency. Modeling results suggest significant energy savings relative to electric storage water heating systems (typical annual efficiencies around 0.90) providing for typical simple paybacks of six to ten years without any incentives. The economics versus gas water heating are currently much more challenging given the current low natural gas prices in much of the country. Increased market size for this technology would benefit cost effectiveness and spur greater technology innovation.« 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. 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