January 31, 2023
Conference Paper

Field Study of Grid-connected Heat Pump Water Heaters in the Southeast U.S.: The Next Right Thing


The integration of grid-connected functionality and advanced control algorithms into heat pump water heaters (HPWH) offers the capability to shift load with minimal customer impact. This capability provides a flexible grid resource to utilities, while the increased energy efficiency of HPWHs offers customers a lower electric bill. The combined utility/customer value from grid-connected HPWHs is compelling in the Southeast U.S. where residential electric water heating is prevalent and utility load management is common. This paper presents the results of a HPWH load shifting study conducted in Central Florida using the CTA-2045 standard. Building upon previous research in the Pacific Northwest, this study consisted of approximately 45 occupied homes equipped with HPWHs undergoing load shifting strategies weekly for over a year. Curtailment durations ranged from three to five hours in the morning, and four to five hours in the evening to coincide with high-value periods for utility coincident load for system-wide electric demand reductions. During the morning and afternoon, a one- or two-hour load-up event preceded curtailment. Baseline data were collected across varied Florida weather in which no load shifting events were implemented. Results from traditional load shifting strategies were analyzed across seasons and used to devise unique load shifting approaches to increase renewable energy use during periods of high solar energy generation. Regional impacts are forecasted for large-scale implementation of strategies. Lessons learned and recommendations are also provided for how utilities, manufacturers, and regional planners can maximize load shifting benefits from grid-connected HPWHs.

Published: January 31, 2023


Butzbaugh J.B., E.T. Mayhorn, T.D. Ashley, C.E. Metzger, K.E. Fenaughty, and D. Parker. 2022. Field Study of Grid-connected Heat Pump Water Heaters in the Southeast U.S.: The Next Right Thing. In 2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Climate Solutions: Efficiency, Equity and Decarbonization, August 21-26, 2022, Monterey, CA, 12-292 - 12-307. Washington, Dc:American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy. PNNL-SA-171512.