DOE EERE Research Reports

Electrically-Driven Heat Pumps

Advanced Cycle Development

Research and development of advanced, high-efficiency air-to-air heat pumps has entailed several different major research areas. Studies have been conducted to quantify the performance of conventional single-speed air-to-air heat pumps with attention paid both to steady-state performance but also to energy losses resulting from cycling in either heating- or cooling-mode and to losses from frosting and defrosting in heating-mode. These projects included laboratory and field testing of commercially available electric heat pumps. Work was also directed toward variable-capacity heat pumps that change capacity to follow building load either through the use of variable-speed motor drives or through mechanical drives that achieve step changes in capacity by varying piston stroke. Additional projects were undertaken to develop analytical models and computer programs that can be used to evaluate potential efficiency improvements through changes in heat pump components or component integration.

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