Who's Leading: The Dance Between Mini-Splits and Existing HVAC Systems
Ashley, Travis; Chen, Yan; Devaprasad, Karthikeya; Kolln, Jaime; Pang, Zhihong; Fenaughty, Karen; Martin, Eric; Parker, Danny; Dentz, Jordan; Lis, David; Dymond, Christopher; Sullivan, Greg
HVAC; Air Conditioning; Energy Efficiency; Energy Analysis; Energy Consumption
Recently, many utilities across the U.S. have provided incentives for ductless mini-split heat pumps due to their relatively high efficiencies. However, when these ductless mini-splits are installed in existing homes, utilities and researchers find that they are not living up to their energy saving potential, due to a lack of coordinated controls with the existing HVAC system. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), and The Levy Partnership are all leading projects across the country to address this problem. The goal for this body of work is to determine which control strategies provide the most energy savings, for the least amount of resources, while maintaining comfort throughout the home. The three projects include research in PNNL Lab Homes in Richland, WA, field validation studies in Florida and New York, and model extrapolation across the country. The results of these studies can provide input for utilities who are considering incentivizing DHP control strategies in the living room area of existing homes that still have original heating and cooling systems in place. The results of these studies to date show that using a central or zonal system set-back control strategy saves a substantial amount of energy compared to other strategies. Additionally, although the complex control strategy saves a substantial amount of energy as well because only 'occupied' areas are conditioned, the strategy is much more error prone and therefore less likely for the savings to persist. This paper was presented at the 2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.
Buildings - Air Conditioning; Buildings - Energy Analysis; Buildings - Energy Consumption; Buildings - Energy Efficiency; Buildings - HVAC
Florida Solar Energy Center and Metzger, Cheryn, "Who's Leading: The Dance Between Mini-Splits and Existing HVAC Systems" (2020). FSEC Energy Research Center®. 12.