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Smart Grid

Smart Grid

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Published by: thirumalai22 on Feb 01, 2011
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Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) based on current Japanese
technology are three times more effcient than electric resistance water
heaters and have the potential to deliver nearly fve times the amount
of hot water, even compared to a resistance water heater.

HPWHs are signifcantly more energy effcient than electric resis-
tance water heaters, and can result in lower annual water heating bills
for the consumer, as well as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
But the high frst costs of heat pump water heaters and past applica-
tion and servicing problems have limited their use in the U.S.

Water heating constitutes a substantial portion of residential
energy consumption. In 1999, 120,682 GWh of electricity and 1,456 tril-
lion Btu of natural gas were consumed to heat water in residences,
amounting to 10% of residential electricity consumption and 30% of
residential natural gas consumption (EPRI, 2001). While both natural
gas and electricity are used to heat water, the favorable economics of
natural gas water heaters have historically made them more popular
than electric water heaters.

Heat pump water heaters, which use electricity to power a vapor-
compression cycle to draw heat from the surrounding environment,

Efficient Electric End-use Technology Alternatives


can heat water more effciently for the end user than conventional
water heaters (both natural gas and resistant element electric). Such de-
vices offer consumers a more cost-effective and energy-effcient method
of electrically heating water. The potential savings in terms of carbon
emissions at the power plant are also signifcant. Replacing 1.5 million
electric resistance heaters with heap pump water heaters would reduce
carbon emissions by an amount roughly equivalent to the annual car-
bon emissions produced by a 250 MW coal power plant.

Heat pump water heaters have been commercially available since
the early 1980s and have made some inroads in some places in the
world, particularly in Europe and Japan.

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