DOE EERE Research Reports

Thermally Activated Heat Pumps, Advanced Appliance Research, Advanced Electrically Driven Heat Pumps, and DER and CHP

In 1978, the U.S. economy consumed 98 quadrillion Btu's of energy to generate electricity, heat and cool homes, refrigerate food and drugs, run our businesses and factories, and transport people and goods on our roads, in the air, on the rails, and on the waterways. Energy consumption was growing at 7% per year. The energy crises of 1971 and 1978 focused national attention on conserving our national energy resources and using electricity, natural gas, and gasoline as efficiently as possible.

Between 1978 and 1994, the U.S. Department of Energy funded R&D programs to increase energy efficiency in heating and cooling homes and businesses; household refrigerators, freezers, and laundry equipment; and refrigeration systems for grocery stores and supermarkets. Approximately 9 of the 98 quads of energy consumed in 1978 was used to power residential and commercial air conditioners. R&D efforts in both thermally-activated and electrically driven heat pumps were directed toward efficiency improvements and reducing energy consumption in this area. Advanced appliance research sought to reduce the 5 quads per year consumed by household appliances and efforts in commercial refrigeration addressed the 1 quad per year consumed by refrigeration systems in large supermarkets and grocery stores. The U.S. Department of Energy has worked to promote energy efficiency and power quality and reliability as part of its mission to serve the American public. Research projects in support of these goals have led to the publication of more than 300 reports and journal articles that document the objectives, activities, and results of DOE funded activities at subconttractors, national laboroatories, and universities. These include efforts on:

  • thermally activated (heat actuated) heat pumps and chillers,
  • residential and commercial advanced appliances,
  • advanced electrically driven heat pumps,
  • power systems, and
  • distributed energy resources (DER) and combined cooling heating and power (CHP).

Thermally activated heat pump research included (1) absorption heat pumps and chillers, (2) engine driven heat pumps, and (3) deisccant dehumidification systems. The Advanced Appliance Research program included efforts for (1) domestic refrigerators and freezers, (2)  residential and commercial water heaters, (3) advanced appliance insulation, and (4)  other advanced appliance research. Electrically driven heat pump projects included (1) the annual cycle energy system (ACES), (2) advanced cycle development for electrically driven heat pumps, (3) working fluid development for refrigerant pairs and CFC alternatives, and (4) geothermal (ground coupled) heat pumps. Power Systems research was directed toward reliability and power quality and toward reactive power research. DER and CHP research included both large and small integrated energy systems (IES) and laboratory and field testing of systems for combined cooling heating and power.

The initial development of this website included making 300+ publications from the DOE Research Program available on the Internet. Links are provided through links to project tables (e.g. thermally activated technologies), a site map, and a key word index. Each publication is represented in this on-line database with a copy of its abstract, a link to read or download an Adobe Acrobat PDF file containing the full text (except for copyrighted material), a list of key words for each document, and in many cases the full reference material needed to locate hardcopies of reports or reprints of copyrighted conference papers. All of the key words used in the website have been accumulated into an extensive key word index in lieu of incorporating a web site search function. Consequently users do not need to have Javascript enabled on their computers and the database lacks any internal "programming" and is not encumbered by browser security checks. An additional 200 to 300 publications will be added to this database before it is completed.


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