Energy Manager

Natural gas fuels HVAC system past international standards

November 14, 2018 – ThermoLift reports it has successfully tested a new refrigerant-free heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, fuelled only by natural gas, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

November 14, 2018  By  Peter Saunders

Completed under the auspices of a U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) grant, the ORNL testing demonstrated the system’s ability to provide heating, cooling and hot water simultaneously from a single device, as well as operating at cryogenic temperatures.

The system’s cycle co-efficient of performance (COP) reportedly exceeded all DOE-designated temperature targets for cold-climate heat pumps, based on the international ANSI/AHRI/ASHRAE ISO Testing and Performance Standard. It continued to perform at the most difficult test point, an operating temperature of -25 C (-13 F), with a COP of 1.31.

“The system can maintain performance and energy efficiency across temperature ranges where other systems require a secondary backup device,” says Peter Hofbauer, president and co-founder of ThermoLift.

The system also operated at cryogenic temperatures, reaching -100 C (-150 F), with its heat pump continuing to extract energy at very low ambient temperatures.


HVAC reportedly represents approximately 70% of energy consumed in cold climates and, on average, 45% of energy consumed in residential and commercial buildings. ThermoLift claims its new system has the potential to reduce this rate by 30% to 50% and reduce acquisition costs, as energy managers will only need one system where they previously installed three.

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