Four new manufacturers pass DOE’s heat pump challenge

Published on January 10, 2024 by Dave Kovaleski

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Four additional heat pump manufacturers successfully produced heat pump prototypes as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump (CCHP) Technology Challenge.

The challenge is an initiative designed to accelerate the deployment of heat pump technologies by supporting innovation and manufacturing. The challenge specifies that prototypes deliver 100 percent heating capacity without the use of auxiliary heat and with significantly higher efficiencies at 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Deploying next-generation technologies like heat pumps is critical to the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to ensure that Americans have access to more affordable clean heating and cooling options—no matter where they live,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “By supporting industry advancements, DOE’s Cold-Climate Heat Pump Challenge is helping get cost-effective clean energy technology into homes across America—keeping families warm during the coldest months and saving them money.”

Unlike heaters that run on natural gas or oil, heat pump technology uses only electricity to extract heat from the air to heat and cool buildings. When compared to gas boilers, heat pumps reduce on-site greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50 percent.

The four heat pump manufacturers that successfully produced prototypes are Bosch, Daikin, Midea, and Johnson Controls. They join previously announced partners from the challenge, including Lennox International, Carrier, Trane Technologies, and Rheem. These companies will participate in the next part of the challenge, which is expected to involve the installation and monitoring of more than 23 prototypes in various cold-climate locations throughout the U.S. and Canada over the next year.

With eight manufacturing partners successfully passing the laboratory testing stage in the challenge, the DOE is now turning to the nearly 30 state, utility, and other partners that were part of the original challenge commitments to encourage the adoption of CCHPs. DOE will work with these partners to develop programs, incentives, education, and outreach campaigns that help consumers better understand the benefits of these new designs.