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Project Info ACTIVE Project Title

Commercial Air-to-Water HP Market Study

Project Number ET23SWE0048 Organization SWE (Statewide Electric ETP) End-use HVAC Sector Commercial Project Year(s) 2023 - 2023
The industry is at the very beginning of the process to electrify existing large commercial buildings. Technological and financial elements of electrification retrofits remain unknown, particularly for this market segment. However, there are many recent innovations that designers are pursuing to transform these electrification retrofits into common practice. Numerous studies and programs have addressed small residential and small commercial buildings, but only a select few have been completed for large commercial buildings, presumably because large commercial buildings are more complex resulting in additional challenges and barriers to overcome. Additional solutions must be identified and documented for large commercial buildings to overcome the unique challenge of custom-built, complex heating and cooling systems, and larger building heating and cooling loads. As a result, electrification of these systems is one of the most challenging in the current market.    We are proposing a market study to assess existing opportunities and barriers for electrifying heating systems in existing large commercial buildings, with a focus on electrifying large boilers with air-to-water heat pumps, including hybrid solutions. In large commercial buildings, boilers are used primarily for this space heating, which is typically the largest source of fossil fuel consumption in these facilities. Air-to-Water heat pumps pull heat from ambient air to heat water that is then circulated through radiators, baseboard units, radiant panels, or heat/re-heat coils throughout large buildings. This project will help understand the market potential and solutions available for decarbonizing these large systems through air-to-water heat pumps. 
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The ETCC is funded in part by ratepayer dollars and the California IOU Emerging Technologies Program, the IOU Codes & Standards Planning & Coordination Subprograms, and the Demand Response Emerging Technologies (DRET) Collaborative programs under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. The municipal portion of this program is funded and administered by Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.