Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2018: 10th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


The Potential of Heat Pump Technologies for the Replacement of Rooftop Units in Small Commercial Buildings

Justin Tamasauskas, Martin Kegel, Jeff Blake

Abstract: This paper presents an energy and lifecycle cost analysis of the impact of replacing conventional rooftop units with electrically driven heat pumps for small office buildings in Canada. First, an energy model of a small office is created in EnergyPLUS for five Canadian regions. This model serves as the baseline for three heat pump integrations, including (i) conventional air-source, (ii) cold climate air-source, and (iii) ground-source systems. Each integration is modelled in TRNSYS, with special focus on implementing a methodology to assess both full and part load performance. Annual simulations demonstrate strong heating/cooling energy savings for heat pumps in all regions. However, low natural gas rates present a challenging economic context for heat pumps, with lifecycle costs consistently higher than conventional rooftop units. A sensitivity analysis is used to assess the impact of a carbon tax, natural gas escalation rates, and the potential of hybrid natural gas/heat pump systems.
Keywords: Heat pump, TRNSYS, cold-climate, lifecycle analysis
Pages: 212 - 221