January 31, 2023
Cold-Climate Packaged Heat Pumps - Resistance is Futile
AbstractThe U.S. currently has a large market for room/zonal space conditioning equipment focused primarily on cooling, namely packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs), packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHPs), and room air conditioners. This equipment largely relies on electric resistance for heating, particularly when outdoor temperatures fall to 40°F or below, presenting a compelling opportunity for energy savings and carbon reductions from reverse cycle heating. This paper provides an overview of cold climate packaged heat pump technologies in the market capable of high output down to outdoor temperatures of 5°F and identifies the technological and market barriers to adoption. For state-of-the-art cold climate packaged heat pumps sold in the retrofit market, defrost meltwater management is the principal barrier to implementation. An energy use analysis is conducted on state-of-the-art cold climate packaged heat pumps for heating and cooling loads by building vintage and climate zone. Potential solutions to defrost meltwater are proposed and modeled for their impact on heating energy efficiency. A national impact assessment estimates the aggregate energy savings and carbon reductions if cold climate packaged heat pumps were to replace existing PTACs and PTHPs in the U.S. building stock. A national, two-track approach is proposed for increasing market adoption in the replacement and new construction markets.
Published: January 31, 2023