Project Info ACTIVE Project Title
Emerging “Micro” Heat Pumps: Testing and Heating Performance MetricsProject Number ET23SWE0034 Organization SWE (Statewide Electric ETP) End-use HVAC Sector Commercial Project Year(s) 2023 - 2024
The State of California has an ambitious goal to install at least 6 million heat pumps by 2030. To address this need, several novel “micro” heat pumps are emerging in the consumer market that offer the ability to provide space heating and are powered by common household 120V electrical service without the need for a contractor or permit. These products include unique form factors (e.g., aesthetically attractive shapes, configurations, easy installation, etc.)and advanced performance features such as inverter-driven compressors and heating capabilities in cold climates. “Micro” heat pumps have the potential to replace small gas-fired furnaces or inefficient electric-resistance space heaters commonly used in multifamily settings. This is possible by reducing or eliminating many cost barriers associated with the design, installation, and permitting required for traditional heat pump technologies. These products could eliminate tenant disruptions or displacement and could potentially empower tenants with a solution to reduce their energy bills. While several studies are beginning to examine these units in the field, to date the Project Team is not aware of any efforts to bring research focused on the gap in the heating test performance of these units. The goal of this project will be to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to develop an interim test method for the heating mode. The Project Team will work with manufacturers, regional efficiency research partners, and relevant organizations working on standards development to converge on an interim test protocol. Following these conversations with key stakeholders, the Project Team will test several heat pumps in a National Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), to obtain performance data and share the test results with key stakeholders. The aim of this work is to lay the technical groundwork that will allow utilities to provide incentives for this rapidly emerging market.