A Regional Technology Roadmap to Enable the Adoption of CO2 Heat Pump Water Heater: A Case from the Pacific Northwest, USA

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Energy Strategy Reviews

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The quest for home energy products that would reduce electricity bills, avoid kilowatt-hours of electricity generation, and minimize carbon footprint has sparked the innovation of many energy efficient technologies. The CO2 heat pump water heater (HPWH) is one such innovation led by Japan, the technology leader of the Pacific Rim. The product was developed over the last decade, and many countries have configured the technology to local needs due to the benign nature and high efficiency potential of the technology. However, CO2 HPWH has yet to enter the Pacific Northwest market. Hence, a detailed roadmap needs to be outlined for the replacement of the existing less efficient water heaters and the integration of the CO2 HPWH technology in the region. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), has been relentlessly working towards energy efficiency as one of its many community outreach programs. The CO2 Heat Pump Water Heater is one of a kind project initiated by the BPA in collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). With guidance from experts at BPA, NEEA, the Energy Trust of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and other stakeholders, an “action plan” has been developed focusing on CO2 refrigerant technologies for heat pump water heater applications. The project identifies where opportunities exist in the coming years for specific actions to be taken in the areas of emerging technologies research, utility program development, market research, and related activities to help increase regional adoption of these energy-efficient systems. The roadmap has given some interesting insights. Projects are undertaken for improving the efficiency of components and equipment technology. Extensive testing and measure development initiatives are headed towards facilitating enactment of law or regulation. However, cost is one of the most important aspect in adoption of the technology and utilities and other stakeholders needs to come forward in incentivizing the project.



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