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CO2 heat pump water heater for cold climates

Topical article

Development and performance evaluation of CO2 heat pump water heater for cold climates
Hiroshi Mukaiyama, Japan

The hot water supply system described here is based on an air-source heat pump utilizing CO2 as refrigerant. The system is optimized for use in cold climates and can provide a heating capacity of 4.5 kW at ambient temperatures as low as -20$C. Technical data is presented for the CO2 compressor and the heat pump system, and performance data are given based on field test. Introduction
Sales of heat pump water heaters equipped with CO2 compressors have steadily increased ever since their release on the Japanese market in 2001. As CO2-based heat pump water heaters are still expensive (over USD 5,000), government subsidies were introduced to help promote sales. The demand for CO2 heat pump water heaters then increased dramatically, with the entire budget for the subsidies being exhausted between June and August of 2003. The CO2 heat pump water heaters currently being marketed in Japan can be divided into 16 types based on function, heating capacity, tank capacity, and regional suitability. Products are available that are suitable for various uses. But until now, in cold climates where the daily peak ambient temperature stays below 0$C for days at a time, heat pumps have not found much use. This is because the efficiency and heating capacity of conventional air-source heat pumps drops considerably at such low temperatures. As a result, kerosene boiler heaters and electric heaters are still the dominant players in such regions. In recent years, however, the development of low-cost and highly efficient air-source heat pumps has created new possibilities. Against this background, we developed a system for providing hot water in cold climates that makes use of an air-source heat pump and takes advantage of the excellent properties of CO2 as a refrigerant. The system developed works well even at ambient temperatures as low as -20$C. The CO2-based heat pump systems for cold climates currently on the market can only be used for heating water and not for space heating. The technical information provided in this paper should make it clear that this technology can also be adapted for cold climates to provide space heating as well.

Development of CO2 compressor for use in cold climates


We have been conducting field tests of CO2 heat pump water heaters since 2001 in Sapporo and four other major cities in Japans coldest region, Hokkaido. Figure 1 shows ambient temperature data for
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Asahikawa city, which is representative of Japans cold regions. During midwinter, temperatures often drop below -20$C and the daily maximum temperature often remains below 0$C. The T-h diagram (Figure 2) presents data obtained for the water heater when operating at an ambient temperature of -21$C. As the evaporating temperature

Ambient Temperature [$C]

0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 2/12 9:00 21:00 2/13 9:00 21:00 2/14 9:00 2/15 21:00 9:00 2/16 021:00

Figure 1: Ambient temperature data for Asahikawa city.

Figure 2: Example of data obtained when the hot water heater was operating in an ambient temperature of -21 $C.

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Topical article

CO2 heat pump water heater for cold climates

drops to -25$C, the compression ratio of the compressor increases approximately ninefold while producing hot water of 85$C. When operating the compressor at such a high compression ratio, the torque on the crankshaft fluctuates, and compression efficiency decreases due to the flow of refrigerant leaking from high to low pressure zones. The noise and vibration generated in the process is a prominent problem. To deal with this, the compressor for the two-stage compression system was designed so that the ratio in the pump of the first stage displacement to the second accommodates colder climate specifications (Figure 4).

Table 1: Specifications of the CO2 Compressor


Rated Power Compressor Model Application Water Heating Capacity Compressor Type 900W C-CV93H for temperate climate 4.5kW hermetic-type 2 rolling-piston & 2-stage compression Design Pressure Displacement (1st/2nd) Motor Type 2.9/1.9 3.3/1.9 DC brushless motor (inverter driven) Revolution Range Dimensions 30 - 120 s-1 diameter 118mm height 217mm Weight 9.3kg(with oil) 11 MPa 1100W C-CV113H for cold climate 4.5kW

Figure 3: Vessel design.


10 Table 1 compares the CO2 compressor specifications for a CO2 heat pump water heater sold in a temperate climate like Tokyo with that of the cold climate version. As can be seen, the first stage of the CO2 compressor was designed a bit larger than its temperate climate counterpart. Under operating conditions like those in Figure 2, the COP drops to 50% of the value at 15$C. To deal with this, a highoutput motor is used to maintain the rated heating capacity of 4.5 kW during operation at -20$C. The motor is an intensive-winding DC brushless motor with the winding coils wrapped directly around the core. It is much more compact than the distributed winding DC brushless motor. Even though a high output motor is used, the dimensions of the compressor are identical with those of the temperate climate version, as seen in Table 1.

CO2 heat pump water heater for use in cold climates


Table 2 and Figure 3 present the specifications and external appearance of the heat pump water heater with CO2 compressor for cold climates. The system is divided into the outdoor unit and the indoor water tank unit, which are connected by

refrigerant piping. The outdoor unit consists of the compressor and evaporator; the water tank unit consists of the water/refrigerant heat exchanger that produces the hot water and the tank that stores the hot water. In contrast, most models commercially available in Japan have the tank unit and the heat pump unit connected by hot water piping, and the water/refrigerant heat exchanger that produces the hot water is placed together with the outdoor (heat pump) unit. However, if such systems are installed for use in cold climates, measures to prevent freezing (such as the addition of an electric heater or circulating the hot water) become necessary. This uses up power, as well as introducing a risk that the connecting pipes will freeze or crack due to unforeseen events such as blackouts. The refrigerant pipe connection system presented in this paper is economical because it does not need power for defrosting, and it is reliable because there is no danger of the pipe cracking due to freezing.

Figure 4: CO2 heat pump water heater.

IEA Heat Pump Centre Newsletter

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CO2 heat pump water heater for cold climates

Topical article

Table 2: Specifications of the CO2 Heat Pump Water Heater


rated voltage System maximum current frequency tank capacity maximum working pressure Storage tank unit weight power consumption hot water temperature dimensions weight refrigerant (rated heating capacity)/ (input electric power)1 Heat pump unit (rated heating capacity)/ (input electric power)2 (rated heating capacity)/ (input electric power)3 (rated heating capacity)/ (input electric power)4 (rated heating capacity)/ (input electric power)5 operating noise 45dB 40dB at midnight 4.5kW/2.51kW 4.5kW/1.78kW 4.5kW/1.34kW 4.5kW/1.14kW dimensions single phase, AC200V 17.5A 50/60Hz 370 liter 170kPa height 2055width 610 diameter 750mm 102kg 78/86W max. 90$C H620W930D29 0mm 52kg carbon dioxide 4.5kW/1.24kW

Performance of CO2 heat pump


Figure 5 shows the heating capacity of the CO2 heat pump water heater and the results of COP measurement. The heating capacity of 4.5 kW can be maintained by controlling the revolutions of the compressor with the inverter, even when the ambient temperature decreases. Moreover, a COP of approximately 1.7 was obtained even at an ambient temperature of -20$C. The average annual COP is expected to be over 3.0 in Tokyo, where the average annual ambient temperature is 16$C, and approximately 2.5 in Sapporo, where the average annual ambient temperature is 8$C. When compared to electric heater type water heaters, the system described here can reduce running costs by 60% even when installed in cold climates. In Japan, late night power rates are set to approximately one third of daytime rates in order to level out power consumption. By using inexpensive power late at night, it is possible to run the system described here economically even when compared to fuelbased water heaters that use the cheapest per-calorie fuel available: kerosene. Based on Japanese kerosene prices and late night power rates, the minimum average annual COP value of the heat pump water heater that provides the greatest benefit in terms of running costs is 1.8. Figure 6 shows the results obtained from monitoring the amount of heat used (mainly kitchen and bathroom) by a household (two adults, two children) using a heat pump water heater. The amount needed was found to be 10-15 kWh/day when calculated over a period spanning winter to summer. With a capacity of 370 liters, the storage unit stores hot water at over 75$C, and therefore can cover one days hot water supply by operating once late at night. But the amount of hot water remaining in the tank is continually monitored and the heat pump is also designed to operate at daytime rates as well, to prevent the hot water supply from running out in the event that an excessive amount is used.

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JRA reference operating conditions : 1 Outdoor temperature (DB/WB) 16/12$C, Water temperature 17$C, Hot water temperature 65$C 2 Outdoor temperature (DB/WB) 25/21$C, Water temperature 24$C, Hot water temperature 65$C 3 Outdoor temperature (DB/WB) 7/4$C, Water temperature 9$C, Hot water temperature 65$C 4 Outdoor temperature (DB/WB) 7/6$C, Water temperature 9$C, Hot water temperature 85$C 5 Outdoor temperature(DB) -20$C, Water temperature 5$C, Hot water temperature 85$C. Only this operating condition is not JRA reference operating condition DB: dry bulb; WB: wet bulb

IEA Heat Pump Centre Newsletter

Volume 21 - No. 4/2003

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Topical article

CO2 heat pump water heater for cold climates

Summary
5 4
Heating Capacity [kW]

COP [ - ]

1 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40

Recent technological developments in CO2 heat pump water heaters allow them to reliably provide adequate heat in cold climates with ambient temperatures as low as -20$C. It is now possible for air-source heat pumps to be used in frigid climates that were previously unsuitable for the use of conventional heat pumps. We believe that water heaters of the type described here will become more widely used because the running costs are competitive - even in cold climates - when compared with kerosenepowered water heaters that run on cheap fuel.
Mukaiyama Hiroshi Ecology and Energy Systems Development Center Technology R&D Headquarters SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. 1-1-1, Sakata, Oizumi-Machi,Ora-Gun, Gunma 370-0596, Japan E-mail: h-mukaiyama@rd.sanyo.co.jp

Ambient Temperature D.B [$C]

Figure 5: The performance of CO 2 heat pump water heater.

Quantity of heat [kWh/day]

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Date Month/Day

Figure 6: Example of the results obtained from monitoring the amount of heat used by household (two adults, two childeren) using a heat pump water heater.

Basic functions of the CO2 heat pump water heater


CO2 heat pump water heaters sold in Japan are of the storage type that store the hot water produced with cheap late night power in a tank. The temperature of the water stored in the tank is 85$C during winter when the temperature of unheated tap water is low (5-9 C), 65$C during summer when it is relatively high (17-24 C), and 75$C for the period in between. The quantity of heat necessary to heat water is regulated according to the temperature of the tap water.

The temperature of the hot water supply to the bathtub can be set by remote control to anywhere between 36$C and 48$C, or even 60$C by combining it with cold water at the mixing valve. Full Auto types can be operated by a remote control to fill the bathtub with hot water, and stop at the preset water level. They automatically raise the temperature when the water cools, and add water when the water level drops. The remote control is set in the kitchen and bathroom, and displays information such as the tank level, tank temperature, water temperature, and bath temperature. It also displays water temperature settings, bath temperature settings, and automatic bath functions

IEA Heat Pump Centre Newsletter

Volume 21 - No. 4/2003

Ambient Temperature [$C]

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Residential heat pump water heaters in the USA

Topical article

Issues troubling the market for residential heat pump water heaters in the USA and some possible solutions
Titu R. Doctor, Russell K. Johnson and Robert Stone, USA

This article is based on two previous papers - the first presented by Titu R. Doctor ('New concepts in residential HPWH technology') at the Residential heat pump water heater technology and markets meeting in Portland, Oregon, USA, on December 4, 2002, and the second by Russell K. Johnson and Robert Stone ('The ideal HPWH a wish-list') at the June 2002 ASHRAE meeting. It addresses the historical lack of success enjoyed by heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) in the USA market, explains some of the major issues involved, and presents some possible solutions (Figure 1). The USA market
In the 1980s, about 20,000 HPWHs were sold in the US every year. Over the last three years, sales have averaged only 2,000 to 4,000 units per year, and most of these recent sales were to a single electric utility customer. What happened? In our opinion, the HPHW technology offered did not adequately take into account market demands and consumer preferences in the US, as explained below. Problem: HPWHs occasionally failed prematurely. Solution: HPWHs must be manufactured with the quality and lifetime expected of the typical room air conditioner, which means quality must be further improved. Field service must be easily obtainable. Field service is generally best provided by specialists, rather than installation plumbers. A lengthy warranty will be necessary to give potential customers adequate assurance when investing in this unknown technology. Sales in the US have not yet reached the level of volume at which more rigorous quality control can be implemented without raising retail prices. Problem: Manufacturing cost alone is still typically greater than USD 500 for add-on HPWH units (i.e., HPWHs that attach to an existing electric storage water heater), and a bit more than that for drop-in units (HPWHs with tank included). Studies have shown that it is difficult to market HPWHs in the US at retail prices above USD 500 (and definitely very difficult in the USD 900 to USD 1,000 range). Solution: Economies of scale are needed. Customers do not understand why the retail price for a HPWH (less installation) should be over USD 150 more than that of a window air conditioner or a dehumidifier. As a matter of fact, most of these air conditioners and dehumidifiers are now imported from countries with very low labour costs. Problem: HPWHs have been marketed and sold strictly on the basis of their waterheating savings. Solution: We should recognize and quantify the value of the dehumidification that the

Problems and possible solutions


Problem: In the early years of development and sales, residential HPWHs were sized so that they would provide water heating for the home at the same rate as the customers electric water heating elements about 4,500 W (i.e. 15,000 Btu/h). It was assumed that the HPWH had to be equal in heating capacity to the (typically) 4,500 W elements in the electric water heater, to match its recovery rate and to avoid increasing the possibility of hot water runouts (i.e. periods when the hot water was not hot enough). Solution: By lowering the heating capacity of the HPWH (e.g. to 4,000 to 8,000 Btu/h, equivalent to an electric element of 1.1-2.3 kW), it can become smaller and less expensive. Modern controls can integrate the tanks electric heating elements into its operation, while ensuring that these elements are used only sporadically for peak-use backup. The tanks storage volume is more important than the heating rate in preventing hot water runouts. Problem: Designers tended to focus on higher efficiency rather than cost and reliability.

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Figure 1: Residential heat pump water heater.


Solution: A savings of 50% (half) on the customers annual cost of water heating is a reasonable goal and easy to advertise. Savings claims of 52% or 57% are fairly meaningless distinctions to the typical customer. Besides, such small differences do not represent any significant additional dollars per year of savings. An increase in efficiency from 2.0 to 2.5 might represent only USD 40 per year additional savings at a typical US electricity price of USD 0.10/kWh. Manufacturers have found that it is better to focus design efforts on other factors, such as reliability and serviceability.

IEA Heat Pump Centre Newsletter

Volume 21 - No. 4/2003

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