While heat pumps are sold in increasing numbers in many regions, installations are restricted to certain building types. In particular, relatively few heat pumps are installed in buildings where no ducted air distribution system has been fitted – a significant market sector!
A promising option is to use single-room heat pumps. To support their development and installation, the IEA Heat Pump Programme set up an international project known as Annex 23. This project, which was completed in December 1998, addressed world markets for using heat pumps that can heat (and possibly cool) individual rooms in residential or commercial buildings that are not heated by centrally forced air (i.e. not equipped with a central ducted system).
The objectives of the project were:
- Research and development on single-room heating systems
- Create an awareness of the advantages of using heat pumps for single-room applications as alternatives to conventional hydronic and electric resistance heating systems
- Gather information on planned utility or government incentive programmes and demand-side management initiatives
- Document ongoing research directed towards heat pump solutions for single-room applications