24 June 2014

Development of an Air-Source Heat Pump Integrated with a Water Heating / Dehumidification Module


A residential-sized dual air-source integrated heat pump (AS-IHP) concept is under development in partnership between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and a manufacturer. The concept design consists of a two-stage air-source heat pump (ASHP)
coupled on the air distribution side with a separate novel water heating/dehumidification
(WH/DH) module. The motivation for this unusual equipment combination is the forecast trend for home sensible loads to be reduced more than latent loads. Integration of water
heating with a space dehumidification cycle addresses humidity control while performing double-duty. This approach can be applied to retrofit/upgrade applications as well as new
construction. A WH/DH module capable of ~1.47 L/h water removal and ~2 kW water heating capacity was assembled by the manufacturer. A heat pump system model was used to guide
the controls design; lab testing was conducted and used to calibrate the models. Performance maps were generated and used in a TRNSYS sub-hourly simulation to predict annual performance in a well-insulated house. Annual HVAC/WH energy savings of ~35% are predicted in cold and hot-humid U.S. climates compared to a minimum efficiency baseline.