Johnson Controls is developing residential heat pumps for cold climates, under the US Department of Energy's Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge.
The US heating tech manufacturer currently offers two residential heat pumps that meet the US Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump specification – the York YZV and York HMH7. The cold climate heat pumps operate at temperatures up to -15 C and have a heating season performance factor (HSPF) of up to 10.5 and a coefficient of performance (COP) at -15 C above 2.
“In the coming years, we’ll have heat pumps that maintain full heating capacity at 5 F and efficiently heat spaces down into negative temperature territory,” Mark Lessans, senior director of sustainability and regulatory affairs, at Johnson Controls told pv magazine. “This level of performance will be critical to maintaining a clean, resilient grid during winter peak periods.”
Under the Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge, the company will develop and commercialize heat pumps for temperatures equal to or below -29 C. While the York YZV and York HMH7 use R-410A refrigerant, the next-generation heat pumps will use R-454B. Lessans claimed that this “will cut the global warming potential (GWP) of the refrigerant by nearly 80%.”
The company said it hopes the cold-climate heat pumps will be certified to AHRI Standard 1380. Lessans said that this “will enable utilities and aggregators to ask connected heat pumps to reduce power consumption to 70%, 40%, and shut-off, depending on the level of curtailment needed.” Heat pumps that successfully pass the challenge will have to provide such grid-interaction services.
US-based Carrier and Ireland-based Trane Technologies have also developed prototypes for the field-testing phase of the challenge. Lennox was the first manufacturer to successfully develop a prototype, winning the Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge in June 2022.
*This article was amended on 30/12/2022 to reflect that Lenox was the first heat pump manufacturer to meet the Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge.
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