Renew. Energy Environ. Sustain.
Volume 2, 2017
Sustainable energy systems for the future
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||26 September 2017|
Life cycle assessment of domestic heat pump hot water systems in Australia
1 Life Cycle Logic, P.O. Box 571, Fremantle, WA 6959, Australia
2 School of Engineering and Information Technology, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
* e-mail: Andrew@lifecyclelogic.com.au
Received in final form: 5 July 2017
Accepted: 27 July 2017
Water heating accounts for 23% of residential energy consumption in Australia, and, as over half is provided by electric water heaters, is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Due to inclusion in rebate schemes heat pump water heating systems are becoming increasingly popular, but do they result in lower greenhouse gas emissions? This study follows on from a previous life cycle assessment study of domestic hot water systems to include heat pump systems. The streamlined life cycle assessment approach used focused on the use phase of the life cycle, which was found in the previous study to be where the majority of global warming potential (GWP) impacts occurred. Data was collected from an Australian heat pump manufacturer and was modelled assuming installation within Australian climate zone 3 (AS/NZS 4234:2011). Several scenarios were investigated for the heat pumps including different sources of electricity (grid, photovoltaic solar modules, and batteries) and the use of solar thermal panels. It was found that due to their higher efficiency heat pump hot water systems can result in significantly lower GWP than electric storage hot water systems. Further, solar thermal heat pump systems can have lower GWP than solar electric hot water systems that use conventional electric boosting. Additionally, the contributions of HFC refrigerants to GWP can be significant so the use of alternative refrigerants is recommended. Heat pumps combined with PV and battery technology can achieve the lowest GWP of all domestic hot water systems.
© A.D. Moore et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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