Development and Testing of the Next Generation Residential Space Conditioning System for California

Next-generation, energy efficient space conditioning system optimized for California's climates could reduce energy bills for consumers while benefiting the environment

Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.


Palo Alto, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

The project has been completed. The recipient developed a residential space conditioning system that integrates advanced HVAC technologies including: a variable capacity compressor and blower, automated demand response, fault detection and diagnostics, intelligent dual fuel heating, integrated ventilation, and zonal control. An alternative refrigerant, R-32, was evaluated as a possible future enhancement. An assessment was performed on duct losses for single versus multi-zone duct configurations with variable capacity equipment. The report find that the system could potentially save 22-32% of cooling energy compared to a 14 SEER single speed system, as well as satisfying over 90% of annual heating load for most of California without electrical or natural gas back-up. Daikin/Goodman, the product's manufacturer, will take the project results to consider iterations of their future products.

The Issue

Cooling and heating activities in buildings to achieve comfortable temperature and humidity levels accounts for a large portion of the electricity bills for Californians. The building sector awaits the promise of novel energy-efficiency technologies that will decrease operating costs of space-conditioning equipment and increase comfort. Many of the technologies that deliver efficiency exist, but are not integrated into a single HVAC system, nor are they optimized for California climates.

Project Innovation

This project is designing and testing a residential heat pump space-conditioning system at 3 homes across California. The advanced efficiency solutions integrated into the HVAC system will include: variable-capacity compressor and variable-speed fans using state-of-the-art inverter technology; integrated ventilation to harness fresh air for "free cooling;" intelligent dual-fuel technology to decrease energy cost and empower consumers to choose between electricity and natural gas; zonal control to prevent conditioning of unoccupied rooms; demand-response interactivity to grid flexibility and reliability; advanced fault detection and diagnostics to ensure proper installation, operation, and maintenance; and alternative refrigerants for improved operation and significant reductions in the potential for global warming.

Project Benefits

This project developed a climate optimized HVAC system that includes advanced energy efficiency features integrated into a single unit. The technology could reduce electricity use, demand and costs, enhance occupant comfort, and allow the use of alternative refrigerants that reduce the potential for global warming.

Lower Costs


This technology is estimated to reduce electricity usage by 475 GWh per year, or approximately $83 million annually. In addition, the fault detection and diagnostic feature could help reduce operation and maintenance costs on HVAC equipment.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The technology is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 157,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually due to reductions in energy use.

Greater Reliability


The technology is estimated to reduce peak demand by 1 to 1.5 GW which could reduce impacts to the grid.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Sara Beaini




Pacific Gas and Electric Company


Western Cooling Efficiency Center - UC Davis


Match Partners


Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.


Contact the Team