Climate Heat Pump Tech Challenge

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Residential Cold- Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge Why are cold-climate heat pumps important? Space conditioning and water heating consume over 40% of the nation’s primary energy and are a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Electric heat pumps (HPs), which extract heat from the air and ground, are an efficient alternative to fuel-fired space conditioning and water heating equipment. However, the performance of conventional HPs declines in colder climates, which have high space heating demands. In recent years, HVAC manu- facturers have developed specialized cold-climate heat pumps (CCHPs) which incorporate advanced designs to operate with greater capacity and efficiency at low outdoor temperatures (below 32°F). Why is a technology challenge needed? CCHPs are gaining acceptance in some regions, with support from government, industry, and utility initiatives, but additional efforts are needed to address common technical and market barriers to wider adoption by consumers, which include performance at temperatures of 5°F and below, installation challenges, and electricity grid impacts during peak demand periods. To advance the adoption of CCHP tech- nologies, the US Department of Energy (DOE) is launching the Cold- Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge as part of the Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3 Initiative). In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and heat pump manufacturers, DOE aims to accelerate the development and commercialization of next-generation CCHPs that meets consumer comfort and efficiency needs in cold climate regions of North America. CCHP products that meet the Challenge specification would offer high efficiency and heating capacity both seasonally and at very cold temper- atures (5°F and below). The Challenge builds upon the recent ENERGY STAR specification (v6.0). Which products are in scope? The CCHP Technology Challenge is focused on residential, centrally ducted, electric-only HPs. The Challenge has two segments: one for a CCHP optimized for 5°F (-15°C) operation and the other for a CCHP optimized for -15°F (-26°C) operation. Manufacturers can choose to participate in one or both segments of the challenge. Challenge submissions are limited to models that meet the following criteria: • Have a nominal cooling capacity (or nominal heating capacity for a heating- only HP) greater than or equal to 24,000 Btu/h and less than or equal to 65,000 Btu/h. • Meet all of the challenge specification requirements • Comply with all applicable federal and state standards, regulations and laws governing these types of HPs, including compliance with all safety and environmental standards. Photo credit ORNL Cold-climate heat pumps (CCHPs) provide both space heating and cooling for homes, and incorporate advanced features that allow for improved heating capacity and efficiency at cold weather conditions compared with traditional heat pumps. Photo credit stock.adobe.com. Advantages of Heat Pumps Fossil fuels burned in space and water heating are some of the largest contributors to U.S. GHG emissions today. Heat pumps, when combined with low carbon electricity resources, can provide substantial GHG emissions savings for the buildings sector. A variety of heat pump solutions are available to fit individual building needs including ducted, ductless, air-to-water and other solutions. Other advantages include: • Provides both heating and cooling • High efficiency and performance throughout the year • Better comfort with multi-speed operation • Grid connectivity enables grid opti- mization and renewable integration • Some products enable temperature control in different areas of the home • Potential for improved air quality

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