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Reverse-cycle Chillers in Parking Garages

Field Test of Reverse-cycle Chillers in Multi-family Residential Buildings

For several decades, electric resistance technologies has been the predominant choice for space heating and domestic water heating in multifamily buildings in the Pacific Northwest. Reverse-cycle chillers, which use more efficient air-to-water heat pump technology, may meet these same needs with one-third as much electricity. Although reverse-cycle chillers are commonly used in warmer climates, this technology has limitations in Pacific Northwest due to colder outside air temperatures in the winter. In this study, BPA is testing the performance of reverse-cycle chillers in below-grade parking garages in Seattle , Washington , where ambient air may be insulated from cold weather.

The first phase of this study found at least three product lines in the Pacific Northwest that provide cost-effective domestic hot water for multifamily buildings. Electricity-related benefits were found to be significant, including energy use and peak power demand for large, multifamily buildings. Other benefits included freeing up useful space in the building and reduced cost of maintaining the water heating system.

Project Team
BPA: Kacie Bedney and Jack Callahan
Ecotope: Jonathan Heller

2009 – 2014 (in progress)


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