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An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study projects how geothermal heat pumps that derive heating and cooling from the ground would improve grid reliability and reduce costs and carbon emissions when widely deployed. Credit: Chad Malone, ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A modeling analysis led by ORNL gives the first detailed look at how geothermal energy can relieve the electric power system and reduce carbon emissions if widely implemented across the United States within the next few decades. 

ORNL researchers found that a polyelectrolyte additive can improve the stability and performance of a salt hydrate PCM, enhancing the potential for use in heat pumps. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL researchers demonstrated that an additive made from polymers and electrolytes improves the thermal performance and stability of salt hydrate phase change materials, or PCMs, a finding that could advance their integration into carbon-reducing heat pumps.

As a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tugba Turnaoglu is investigating new thermal energy storage materials and ways to incorporate them into cost-effective and energy-efficient heat pump designs. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept of Energy

The common sounds in the background of daily life – like a refrigerator’s hum, an air conditioner’s whoosh and a heat pump’s buzz – often go unnoticed. These noises, however, are the heartbeat of a healthy building and integral for comfort and convenience.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory research house collects data about the home’s simulated energy use from sensors strategically located throughout the home. Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Ways to give homeowners more centralized control over how much electricity their home uses—from the air conditioning unit to the heat pump water heater—are being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. An ORNL team is working with Southern Company and Alabama Power on its Sma...

ORNL researcher Xiaobing Liu  works in the laboratory’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center.

As a boy growing up in China, Xiaobing Liu knew all about Oak Ridge and the World War II Manhattan Project. He had no idea that he would one day work at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Secret City’s successor. Liu is a lead researcher in geothermal heat pump (GHP) techn...

The SaltX heating system offers better efficiency than today’s best furnaces and a potential payback of just three to four years.

Salt and ammonia are key ingredients of a high-efficiency natural gas-fired heat pump system being developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Rheem and ClimateWell. Potentially, the SaltX system could provide 43 percent greater efficiency than today’s best furn...

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Clothes dryers that use thermoelectric heat pump technology being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and industry partner Sheetak could use 40 percent less energy, potentially saving consumers $3 billion in utility costs. “Each month, electric clothes dryers typically consume more energy than any other household appliance,” said Kyle Gluesenkamp, who leads the development team for ORNL’s Building Equipment Research Group.

This prototype heat pump installed at the Ohio field test site in January 2015 produced savings of more than 40 percent compared to the baseline heat pump.

People in cold climates who heat with electricity could realize savings of up to 70 percent with a new heat pump developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Emerson Climate Technologies. The tandem compressor system, developed through a cooperative research and development ag...

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Although variable refrigerant flow heat pumps are known to have advantages, higher initial costs and difficulty in quantifying those benefits serve as deterrents to their widespread use. ORNL’s flexible research platform, however, provides a solution that enables researchers to chara...
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

A ground source heat pump installed at rural Cedarville High School in Arkansas through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has reduced energy use by 53 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 52 percent, according to an Oak Ridge National Laboratory report. ORNL researchers X...