SEAD Analyzes Potentials for Heat Pump Water Heater International Test Standard Alignment

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The heat pump is one of the most energy efficient technologies for heating water for household use. There are several test methods for heat pump water heaters in use in different regions of the world, with major differences between them. As a result, manufacturers have to undertake a different set of tests for each economy where they sell their products. This inhibits trade, adds to product cost, and slows the development of the global heat pump water heater market.

SEAD Heat Pump Water Heater report coverOn behalf of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Collaborative Assessment of Standards and Testing Methods (CAST), The SEAD Initiative analyzes current energy efficiency test methods for heat pump water heaters (HPWHs), with the aim of developing proposals for internationally-comparable methods, metrics and efficiency classes for use in future efficiency policy measures.

This report analyzes seven relevant national and regional test procedures in major economies – including Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea, USA, and New Zealand.

All of the test methods currently in use are carried out in controlled ambient conditions of temperature and humidity; involve heating the water from ‘cold’ to ‘hot’; and measure both the electrical energy consumed by the HPWH and the thermal energy added to the water.

However, aside from the Canadian and US standards, which are virtually identical, these standards differ so much that the results reported under one standard give little indication of the efficiency of the same water heater tested under a different standard.

This makes it very difficult for policymakers in different economies to compare performance claims made for products tested to different standards. This report recommends the development of “harmonization protocol,” a set of technical standards, or a working agreement to cover administrative and technical issues as they arise. The report also identified a number of international organizations and initiatives that can support such activities, including CLASP, the APEC CAST Initiative, and the SEAD Initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial.  Additionally, the impending development of an International Standards Organisation (ISO) test method for HPWHs offers a timely opportunity to move towards an internationally consistent testing approach. 

The analysis was completed by George Wilkenfeld & Associates, Energy Efficient Strategies and Thermal Design (Australia), Waide Strategic Efficiency (United Kingdom), ARMINES /MINES Paris-Tech (France), with the support from CLASP, the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), the Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL), and the International Copper Association (ICA).


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