Research Papers

Performance of Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) Systems and Their Impacts on Electric Utility Loads

[+] Author and Article Information
Yahya I. Sharaf-Eldeen

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901eldeen@fit.edu

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 2(2), 021008 (Nov 01, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002757 History: Received June 13, 2010; Revised September 30, 2010; Published November 01, 2010; Online November 01, 2010

This work involves measurements, analyses, and evaluation of performance of air-source heat pump water heaters (HPWHs), and their impacts on electric utility loads. Two add-on, heat pumps (HPs) rated at 7000 BTU/h (2.051 kW) and 12,000 BTU/h (3.517 kW) were utilized. The HPs were retrofitted to two 50 gal (189.3 l) electric water heaters (EWHs) with their electric heating elements removed. A third standard EWH was used for comparison. The testing setups were fully instrumented for measurements of all pertinent parameters, including inlet and outlet water temperatures, inlet and outlet air temperatures of the HPs, temperature and humidity of the surrounding air, volume of water drawn out of the storage tanks, as well as the electric energy consumptions of the systems. Performance measures evaluated included the coefficient of performance, the energy factor (EF), and the first hour rating (FHR). The HPWH systems gave EFs ranging from 1.8 to 2.5 and corresponding energy savings (and reductions in utility peak loads) ranging from 49.0% to 63.0%, approximately. The values obtained in the summer months were, as expected, somewhat higher than those obtained in the winter ones. The average values of the EFs and energy savings (and reductions in utility peak loads) were about 2.1 and 56.0%, respectively. FHR results were much lower for the HPWHs compared with those for the standard EWH. These results show that HPWHs are much more efficient compared with standard EWHs. While the average value of the EF for the EWH was about 0.92, the HPWHs yielded EFs averaging more than 2.00, resulting in annual energy savings averaging more than 50%. The results also show that HPWHs are effective at reducing utility peak loads, in addition to providing substantial cost savings to consumers.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of testing setups

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Figure 2

Lab setups and data acquisition system

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Figure 3

Winter demand loads for water heating

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Figure 4

Summer demand loads for water heating



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