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Title: Impact of installation faults in air conditioners and heat pumps in single-family homes on U.S. energy usage

Abstract

To ensure that new residential air conditioners and heat pumps operate optimally, care must be taken during the initial system design and installation to avoid missteps that immediately degrade a system’s performance. Laboratory and simulation studies have quantified the impact that faults can have on capacity and efficiency. Field studies have demonstrated that installation-related faults are commonplace. However, the national impact of installation-related faults cannot be accurately estimated by only simulating a limited number of homes at several fault levels because of the variety of home characteristics and climates involved. In our analysis, we use an improved residential building stock simulation tool to predict the annual energy increase and additional utility costs resulting from two common installation faults: indoor airflow rate and refrigerant charge level. Our method considers the wide range of building characteristics and climate zones of the U.S. housing stock. We use existing field data to develop fault intensity probability distributions to inform our analysis. The study shows that these two faults result in approximately 20.7 TWh/y of additional energy use for central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps in U.S. single-family detached homes, which is a 9% increase over baseline (no-fault) usage, costing homeowners approximately $2.5 billionmore » annually on utility bills. Air-source heat pumps are responsible for a disproportionate fraction of this energy use increase because of the larger number of operating hours compared to central air conditioners and the sensitivity of heating mode performance to the faults analyzed compared to cooling mode.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (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), Energy Efficiency Office. Building Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1660191
Report Number(s):
NREL-JA-5500-75261
Journal ID: ISSN 0306-2619; MainId:6254;UUID:52503fec-d9f5-e911-9c29-ac162d87dfe5;MainAdminID:16259
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 278; Journal ID: ISSN 0306-2619
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; installation quality; fault; air conditioner; heat pump; building energy simulation

Citation Formats

Winkler, Jonathan, Das, Saptarshi, Earle, Lieko, Burkett, Lena, Robertson, Joe, Roberts, Dave, and Booten, Chuck. Impact of installation faults in air conditioners and heat pumps in single-family homes on U.S. energy usage. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115533.
Winkler, Jonathan, Das, Saptarshi, Earle, Lieko, Burkett, Lena, Robertson, Joe, Roberts, Dave, & Booten, Chuck. Impact of installation faults in air conditioners and heat pumps in single-family homes on U.S. energy usage. United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115533.
Winkler, Jonathan, Das, Saptarshi, Earle, Lieko, Burkett, Lena, Robertson, Joe, Roberts, Dave, and Booten, Chuck. Sun . "Impact of installation faults in air conditioners and heat pumps in single-family homes on U.S. energy usage". United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115533.
@article{osti_1660191,
title = {Impact of installation faults in air conditioners and heat pumps in single-family homes on U.S. energy usage},
author = {Winkler, Jonathan and Das, Saptarshi and Earle, Lieko and Burkett, Lena and Robertson, Joe and Roberts, Dave and Booten, Chuck},
abstractNote = {To ensure that new residential air conditioners and heat pumps operate optimally, care must be taken during the initial system design and installation to avoid missteps that immediately degrade a system’s performance. Laboratory and simulation studies have quantified the impact that faults can have on capacity and efficiency. Field studies have demonstrated that installation-related faults are commonplace. However, the national impact of installation-related faults cannot be accurately estimated by only simulating a limited number of homes at several fault levels because of the variety of home characteristics and climates involved. In our analysis, we use an improved residential building stock simulation tool to predict the annual energy increase and additional utility costs resulting from two common installation faults: indoor airflow rate and refrigerant charge level. Our method considers the wide range of building characteristics and climate zones of the U.S. housing stock. We use existing field data to develop fault intensity probability distributions to inform our analysis. The study shows that these two faults result in approximately 20.7 TWh/y of additional energy use for central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps in U.S. single-family detached homes, which is a 9% increase over baseline (no-fault) usage, costing homeowners approximately $2.5 billion annually on utility bills. Air-source heat pumps are responsible for a disproportionate fraction of this energy use increase because of the larger number of operating hours compared to central air conditioners and the sensitivity of heating mode performance to the faults analyzed compared to cooling mode.},
doi = {10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115533},
journal = {Applied Energy},
number = ,
volume = 278,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {11}
}

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This content will become publicly available on November 15, 2021
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