> > > >

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 430 (416)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 430
Page 430

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 430

The Heat Pump for Heating-and Cooling!

Development of Reverse-Cycle Equipments

Results in Year-'Round Air Conditioning

It seems quite safe to say that nothing has contributed more to the welfare of mankind, to the advancement of science, and to the development of our presentday civilization, than our modern techniques of producing and utilizing electric energy.*

Until very recently, a last vital service has been largely beyond the scope of electricity for economic reasons of cost. This service is heating, space heating on a sufficiently large scale to warm our houses at a cost competitive with other fuel-burning methods. The promise of this service, however, has now been given and, if our engineering ability and ingenuity live up to their reputation, the promise will be kept.

The answer is the heat pump, an expanded development of the electric refrigeration cycle, which will heat our houses in winter and cool them in the summer. In the fall of 1946 E. N. Kemler, head of the engineering research division of the Southern Research Institute, said, ffIt is difficult to emphasize the importance of the (heat pump to the electric utilities and to the public. To the utilities it offers a potential load far exceeding that from any other source in the home. To the public, it offers for the first time, at a competitive cost, automatic year-round home comfort; that is winter heating and summer cooling with the same equipment, utilizing electricity."


The reverse refrigeration cycle has, of course, been known for many years. As far back as 1852, Lord Kelvin, the distinguished British physicist and mathematician, who did a lot of work on heat and electricity, proposed a "warming engine," which was nothing more than a mechanical refrigerator in reverse, pumping heat out of the air.

While basically the heat pump is not a new development, its application to house heating on a commercial scale has only recently started. Its ultimate potentialities have a tremendous appeal to the imagination, as evidenced by a recent New York newspaper headline which forecast a 2,000,000-unit market for it over the next several years and went on to describe it as one of the most promising postwar home appliances.

The importance of this potential load to the electric utilities can be quickly indicated. The average annual electric requirement to operate a heat pump during the heating season will range from about 4,000 to 0,000 kilowatt hours, depending on the location and temperature characteristics. Multiply this by 2,000,000 and you get an additional load

*This article is reprinted from the June 5, 1947, issue. of Public Utilities Fortnightly, by special permission of the nuihor and the journal's assistant general

manager, J. M. Robertson.


Institutional Ulility Service, Inc.

of from 8 to 18 billion kilowatt hours. This is equal to from 21 per cent to 47 per cent of total domestic kilowatt-hour sales in 1946. And another 4 billion kilowatt hours would be required to operate these heat pumps for cooling during the summer.

This, however, is far from the whole story. It is estimated that in 1940 the total residential consumption of fuel for heating was about 5,038 trillion Btu. Of this amount, the useful heat was estimater at 2,382 trillion Btu., or about 47 per cent, the balance representing heat loss up the chimneys. Translated into equivalent electric energy, this ffuseful" heat would amount to approximately 700 billion kilowatt hours.

The total residential consumption of electricity in 1940 was only 23.3 billion kilowatt hours, which figure increased to 34.2 billion in 1945. Electric sales for all purposes in the latter year aggregated 193.6 billion kilowatt hours. While it is obvious that the entire residential heating market can never be served electrically, nevertheless there is a very substantial amount of business that the electric utilities could advantageously obtain. The combined winter and summer operation of the heat pump, moreover, provides a load factor that is definitely attractive.

Philip Sporn, executive vice-president of the American Gas and Electric Coinpany, has been one of the principal sponsors of the heat pump development in this country. He and his associates have been working on it for some fifteen years. In June, 1944, he presented a comprehensive paper on the subject before the Edison Electric Institute, in which he said, ffThere are five principal services that electricity performs in the modern home today: lighting, refrigerating, cooking, water heating and operation of miscellaneous appliances. The sixth, and most important function, more important, in fact, than all other five functions put togetherenamely, heating #is today still performed non-electrically. It can in most cases be performed electrically by the heat pump.

The electric utility companies, of course, have evinced keen interest in the possibilities of the heat pump. 1n the summer of 1940, two special meetings were held under the sponsorship of the American Gas and Electric Service Corporation to discuss its development, and more particularly its potentialities, as a residential heating and cooling system.

The first meeting was held in New York in June and was attended by representatives of twenty-three companies. Sporn opened the meeting by saying, tilt has been stated that the all-electric

home is not possible without the heat pump and I believe the further we get into the problem the more we are convinced that this is so},

H. M. Sawyer, viceupresident of American Gas and Electric, pointed out that, if the electric business is to continue to grow, all domestic uses must be actively promoted. The necessity for the industry to meet the competition of gas house heating, with its associated gas cooking, water heating, and refrigeration, would, he felt, be met by the heat pump, with its efiicient heating performance and its possibilities for summer cooling.

Representatives of the Connecticut Light and Power Company and the New Jersey Power and Light Company felt that there would be little difficulty in finding customers for the heat pump, even though its potentialities appeared to be more limited than in the southern sections of the country. It was brought out that the heat pump would have considerable value in protecting and gaining other types of load against competitive fuels. Where gas competition is keen, it would help protect the cooking as well as the water-heating load.

A second meeting was held in August in Birmingham, Alabama, and was at tended by representatives of twenty-five companies. Thomas Martin, of the Alabama Power Company, opened the meeting, saying, nYour presence here today reflects your own belief that the heat pump as a device for domestic and industrial heating and summer cooling is of great importance to the public and to the electric industryRi

S. W. Andrews, rate engineer of the American Gas and Electric, pointed out that ftwe are pretty well convinced that in years to come, unless we can offer to the builders of new homes electric heating, that our continued growth in the field of selling service to residences is more limited than We like to thinkfi He Went on to say, "It is our hope and belief that the initial cost, when the manufacturer gets into production of these units, will not exceed the complete cost of a separate air-conditioning unit plus a separate fuel-fired system."

At this meeting the majority of the companies represented operated in the southern and southwestern states, and the cooling and air-conditioning aspects of the heat pump were stressed. Practically all those attending expressed great interest in the program and promised that their companies would cos operate in every way possible.

As a result of these meetings a specific program was set up under which manufacturing specifications were agreed upon and submitted to various manufacturers. The utility companies pledged themselves to purchase and install several hundred units, and the first deliveries are expected later on this year.

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 430