IIR document

Performance improvements in commercial heat pump water heaters using carbon dioxide.

Number: pap. ID: 211

Author(s) : BOWERS C. D., ELBEL S., PETERSEN M., et al.


Although heat pump water heaters are today widely accepted in Japan, where energy costs are high and government incentives for their use exist, acceptance of such a product in the US has been slow. This trend is slowly changing with the introduction of heat pump water heaters into the residential market, but remains in the commercial sector. Barriers to heat pump water heater acceptance in the commercial market have historically been performance, reliability and first/operating costs. The use of carbon dioxide (R744) as the refrigerant in such a system can improve performance for relatively small increase in initial cost and make this technology more appealing. What makes R744 an excellent candidate for use in heat pump water heaters is not only the wide range of ambient temperatures within which it can operate, but also the excellent ability to match water to refrigerant temperatures on the high side, resulting in very high exit water temperatures of up to 82°C (180°F), as required by sanitary codes in the US (Food Code, 2005), in a single pass, temperatures that are much more difficult to reach with other refrigerants. This can be especially attractive in applications where this water is used for the purpose of sanitation. While reliability has also been of concern historically, dramatic improvements have been made over the last several years through research done in the automotive industry and commercialization of R744 technology in residential water heating mainly in Japan. This paper presents the performance results from the development of an R744 commercial heat pump water heater of approximately 35 kW and a comparison to a baseline R134a unit of the same capacity and footprint. In addition, recommendations are made for further improvements of the R744 system which could result in possible energy savings of up to 20%.

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  • Original title: Performance improvements in commercial heat pump water heaters using carbon dioxide.
  • Record ID : 30001097
  • Languages: English
  • Source: Proceedings of the 23rd IIR International Congress of Refrigeration: Prague, Czech Republic, August 21-26, 2011. Overarching theme: Refrigeration for Sustainable Development.
  • Publication date: 2011/08/21


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