Madeline Talebi

ICF | Energy Engineer


Track B: Emerging Technologies and Renewable Energy

Session B1: HVAC, Heat Pumps, and Thermal Energy Networks

May 1, 2024 | 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Heat Pump Performance in California: Fuel-Fired Water Heating Applications

Water heating is one of the largest end-uses of natural gas in California, with a significant potential for increased gas savings and decarbonization using fuel-fired heat pump technology. Manufacturers have developed Gas Absorption Heat Pump (GAHP) systems that have entered the market following small-scale and pilot testing, but there is limited part load and transient system performance data that is publicly available for these units. Advantages of GAHP systems include significant reductions (~30%) in gas consumption relative to condensing technologies, which translates to lower utility bills, reduced emissions, zero GWP refrigerant, low electrical grid demand, and retrofit capability to existing underserved multifamily facilities.

The main purpose of this GAHP laboratory testing was to develop steady-state and dynamic performance curves that can be used with the newly developed air-cooled EnergyPlus GAHP model. Understanding both the steady state and transient part load can be useful in sizing the GAHP unit(s) relative to the load and helps to determine the need for any required backup heat supplies and/or storage.

The presentation of these resultant steady state and dynamic performance curves will supplement GAHP modeling capabilities within EnergyPlus that can be used to project energy savings and emissions reductions, and to evaluate GAHP for multiple applications including multifamily water and space heating, commercial laundromats, and various industrial processes.

Speaker Bio

Prior to joining ICF, I worked as a researcher on small scale laboratory experiments and computational modeling projects primarily based on carbon capture technologies, pollutant emissions control, and material sciences. Currently, in my role as an Energy Engineer at ICF, a global advisory and consulting firm, I support the California Statewide Gas Emerging Technologies (GET) program, Southern California Edison (SCE) Corporate Sustainability Report GHG Emissions reporting, and California Technical Forum (CalTF) Measure Package development. I earned by Bachelor's and Master's in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.