U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
HVAC and Water Heater Field Tests Research Project
The U.S. Department of Energy is currently conducting research into heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and water heater field tests.
This project seeks to produce highly-detailed and precise field performance data by performing field demonstrations of advanced prototypes of energy-efficient HVAC and water heater systems. These systems are being developed in four very well characterized and unoccupied test houses at the ZEBRAlliance test site near Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Research is being undertaken between the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
The goal of this project is to produce quality field data on the new ground source integrated heat pump product and on an initial prototype air source integrated heat pump system along with operation diagnostic data. This data will be provided to manufacturers for use in refining system design and finalizing product development.
Benefits and Impacts
Based on the 2011 Buildings Energy Databook estimates of residences using electricity as the primary heating fuel and their estimated total residential HVAC and water heater energy use in 2010, if the IHP technology penetrates 10% of that market by 2030 it is extrapolated that annual energy savings would exceed 100 trillion British thermal units. It is anticipated that the IHP-based products can provide HVAC and water heater services to residences at 40 – 60% energy savings when compared to Conventional, minimum-efficiency equipment.