At Home in Berks February 2017 - 9

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Exhaustive research led to a prototype that's both cost-effective and highly efficient at heating the home, even in cold
outdoor temperatures. The heart of the prototype is a new scroll
compressor, developed by Emerson, which is optimized for low
ambient heating performance and reliable under such operating
conditions. The design used tandem compressors (two parallel,
equal-size and single-speed scroll compressors) and other features
to achieve the target performance. A single compressor operates
for cooling and for heating in mild conditions, but when outdoor
temperatures plummet, both compressors kick in.
PROVING PERFORMANCE, ENERGY SAVINGS IN
REAL WORLD HOUSES
The research team's innovative concept shows promising results.
The prototype was field-tested in early 2015 in an occupied
house in Sidney, Ohio that had been previously equipped with
a conventional ASHP. During the coldest month, the prototype
maintained comfortable temperatures in the home while reaping
40% in energy savings. When outdoor temperatures plunged to
-13°F, the prototype kept the house warm without any reliance
on supplemental electric resistance heat.

"This project is an excellent example of how collaboration
between industry and a national lab can benefit the general
population," said Hung Pham, director of integrated technologies
at Emerson Climate Technologies. "Together we developed the
most cost-effective air-source heat pump option for cold climates,
which will have a bright future displacing space heating derived
from oil, propane, and electric furnaces. In addition, air-source
heat pumps in mild climates can also be improved by the underlying technology."
The collaboration between ORNL and Emerson was conducted
under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement
(CRADA). The DOE Building Technologies Office sponsored
ORNL's effort within the CRADA and Emerson was self-funded.
Mike Turns
Performance Systems Development
(215) 381-2929

In fact, the technology is so efficient-and cost-effective-that
it already beat DOE's 2020 goal, achieving a 1.077 primary
seasonal coefficient of performance, or COP (goal was 1.07),
and $18 installed cost premium per kBtu/hour (goal was $25).
A CORE TECHNOLOGY THAT CAN BENEFIT
EVERYONE
Emerson is the nation's largest domestic manufacturer of compressors for residential and small commercial HVAC equipment
and is currently marketing its cold climate-optimized compressor to ASHP manufacturers. The ORNL prototype provides
manufacturers with an example of how to integrate the new
compressors into an ASHP design that achieves outstanding
cold climate performance.

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