18 May 2017
In the U.S., there are approximately 2.6 million dwellings that use electricity for heating in cold and very cold regions with an annual energy consumption of 0.16 quads (0.17 EJ). A high performance cold climate heat pump (CCHP) would result in significant savings over current technologies (greater than 60% compared to electric resistance heating). We developed an air-source cold climate heat pump, which uses tandem compressors, with a single compressor rated for the building design cooling load, and running two compressors to provide, at -13°F (-25°C), 75% of rated heating capacity. The tandem compressors were optimized for heating operation and are able to tolerate discharge temperatures up to 280°F (138°C). A field investigation was conducted in the winter of 2015, in an occupied home in Ohio, USA. During the heating season, the seasonal COP was measured at 3.16, and the heat pump was able to operate down to -13°F (-25°C) and eliminate resistance heat use. The heat pump maintained an acceptable comfort level throughout the heating season. In comparison to a previous single-speed heat pump in the home, the CCHP demonstrated more than 40% energy savings in the peak heating load month. This paper illustrates the measured field performance, including compressor run time, frost/defrosting operations, distributions of building heating load and capacity delivery, comfort level, field measured COPs, etc.