January 31, 2023
Conference Paper

Detailed Laboratory Evaluation of Electric Demand Load Shifting Potential of Controlled Heat Pump Water Heaters


The demand profile management of electric end uses is vital research for utilities and policymakers planning greenhouse gas emission reductions. In this study, detailed laboratory research was conducted on the load shifting potential of 4 grid-connected HPWHs and one electric resistance water heaters (ERWH). The testing applied different CTA-2045 shed and critical peak command designs under three water draw profiles. Highly-controlled laboratory experiments were conducted in Florida. One of the four HPWHs was a prototype incorporating the new CTA-2045-B protocol feature allowing ‘advanced’ load-up above tank setpoint. A three-hour morning (6 – 9 AM) and four-hour evening curtailment (4 – 8 PM) were defined as the shed or critical peak periods reflecting high-value control periods for utility coincident load for system-wide electric demand reductions. Tests were performed under baseline conditions (no load shift) and under varied load-shifting schemes, including load up and advanced load up, ahead of shed and critical peak commands. Data were collected from December 2020 – February 2022 in the laboratory and compared with field experiments in Florida and the Pacific Northwest. Grid-connected HPWHs were found to reduce peak demand by up to 0.47 kW compared to uncontrolled HPWH units, depending on time of day, control scheme, draw profile, and temperature cluster. The load up strategy demonstrated the ability of all units to utilize heat pump mode for extended periods ahead of peak events. Demand reductions for the HPWHs were much larger when compared with the ERWH— up to 1.64 kW with large hot water draws in winter.

Published: January 31, 2023


Fenaughty K., D. Parker, C. Colon, R.K. Vieira, J.B. Butzbaugh, and E.T. Mayhorn. 2022. Detailed Laboratory Evaluation of Electric Demand Load Shifting Potential of Controlled Heat Pump Water Heaters. In 2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Climate Solutions: Efficiency, Equity and Decarbonization, August 21-26, 2022, Monterey, CA, 1-32 - 1-47. Washington, Dc:American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy. PNNL-SA-171963.