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Title: Are Ducted Mini-Splits Worth It?

Abstract

Ducted mini-split heat pumps are gaining popularity in some regions of the country due to their energy-efficient specifications and their ability to be hidden from sight. Although product and install costs are typically higher than the ductless mini-split heat pumps, this technology is well worth the premium for some homeowners who do not like to see an indoor unit in their living area. Due to the interest in this technology by local utilities and homeowners, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has funded the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop capabilities within the Building Energy Optimization (BEopt) tool to model ducted mini-split heat pumps. After the fundamental capabilities were added, energy-use results could be compared to other technologies that were already in BEopt, such as zonal electric resistance heat, central air source heat pumps, and ductless mini-split heat pumps. Each of these technologies was then compared using five prototype configurations in three different BPA heating zones to determine how the ducted mini-split technology would perform under different scenarios. The result of this project was a set of EnergyPlus models representing the various prototype configurations in each climate zone. Overall, the ducted mini-split heatmore » pumps saved about 33-60% compared to zonal electric resistance heat (with window AC systems modeled in the summer). The results also showed that the ducted mini-split systems used about 4% more energy than the ductless mini-split systems, which saved about 37-64% compared to electric zonal heat (depending on the prototype and climate).« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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:
1424577
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5500-70404
Journal ID: ISSN 0001-2491
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ASHRAE Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 60; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0001-2491
Publisher:
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; ducted mini-split heat pumps; BPA; BEopt; EnergyPlus

Citation Formats

Winkler, Jonathan M., Maguire, Jeffrey B., Metzger, Cheryn E., and Zhang, Jason. Are Ducted Mini-Splits Worth It?. United States: N. p., 2018. Web.
Winkler, Jonathan M., Maguire, Jeffrey B., Metzger, Cheryn E., & Zhang, Jason. Are Ducted Mini-Splits Worth It?. United States.
Winkler, Jonathan M., Maguire, Jeffrey B., Metzger, Cheryn E., and Zhang, Jason. Thu . "Are Ducted Mini-Splits Worth It?". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1424577,
title = {Are Ducted Mini-Splits Worth It?},
author = {Winkler, Jonathan M. and Maguire, Jeffrey B. and Metzger, Cheryn E. and Zhang, Jason},
abstractNote = {Ducted mini-split heat pumps are gaining popularity in some regions of the country due to their energy-efficient specifications and their ability to be hidden from sight. Although product and install costs are typically higher than the ductless mini-split heat pumps, this technology is well worth the premium for some homeowners who do not like to see an indoor unit in their living area. Due to the interest in this technology by local utilities and homeowners, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has funded the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop capabilities within the Building Energy Optimization (BEopt) tool to model ducted mini-split heat pumps. After the fundamental capabilities were added, energy-use results could be compared to other technologies that were already in BEopt, such as zonal electric resistance heat, central air source heat pumps, and ductless mini-split heat pumps. Each of these technologies was then compared using five prototype configurations in three different BPA heating zones to determine how the ducted mini-split technology would perform under different scenarios. The result of this project was a set of EnergyPlus models representing the various prototype configurations in each climate zone. Overall, the ducted mini-split heat pumps saved about 33-60% compared to zonal electric resistance heat (with window AC systems modeled in the summer). The results also showed that the ducted mini-split systems used about 4% more energy than the ductless mini-split systems, which saved about 37-64% compared to electric zonal heat (depending on the prototype and climate).},
doi = {},
journal = {ASHRAE Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 60,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on February 1, 2019
Publisher's Version of Record
The DOI is not currently available

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