SMTI completed its first prototype thermally-driven heat pump (TDHP) with a 20,000 BTU/hr (6 kW) capacity. Filling out SMTI’s suite of existing prototypes (ranging from 10-140 kBTU/hr), the 6 kW model is well-sized to provide both space and water heating for low-load and net-zero energy homes, as well as individual units in multi-family buildings. This model further expands SMTI’s application range, giving HVAC manufacturers the ability to target a very high efficiency gas or propane fueled product for the growing market for low-load and net-zero construction in all parts of the globe.
This very first prototype for this size was 3rd-party tested and achieved a gas-fired COPhhv of 1.36/1.24 at 35oF ambient while supplying 113/131oF water. These results are approximately 93% of the company’s performance goal, a very positive result for an “alpha” prototype.
The heating system modulates 4:1 so it can easily match the building’s heat load profile. With all combustion processes occurring out-of-doors; only hot water is brought into the home. The target market price for this unit will be comparable to existing electric heat pump prices. However, because it operates on natural gas, it will be much cheaper to operate. It also delivers a comparably low (lower in many cases) carbon footprint compared to its electrically-driven heat-pump cousin; and of course, much lower compared to traditional boilers and furnaces.