Assessment of Low-Cost Minisplit Heat Pump Connection System: Report No. ET17SCE7070

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This project was funded by SCE's Emerging Technologies Program, and evaluates the feasibility of a connection system that can pave the path to accelerated, cost-effective adoption of high-efficiency Minisplit Heat Pump (MSHP) systems. This report details the characterization of this connection system and a heat pump enabled with this technology in a laboratory setting, and assesses the energy and cost impact applicable to residential buildings in SCE service territory. The energy and economic analysis leverages NREL's ResStock (TM) modeling approach based on the EnergyPlus (R) hourly simulation platform. The connection system can be incorporated into existing MSHP architectures. This reduces installation time from 10 to 20 man hours to approximately one hour or less, dramatically lowering total installation costs without adversely impacting heat pump performance. This report characterizes the connection system's leakage performance while connected and disconnected, as well as leakage over several connection/disconnection cycles, commensurate with manufacturer specifications for the individual components. The connector was incorporated into an off-the-shelf MSHP. Performance was compared to an identical unmodified heat pump. The connector had no impact on performance. Large-scale hourly energy simulations were performed for 22,574 homes across 15 counties in SCE service territory. The analysis was performed using baseline assumptions about the penetrations of window air conditioners (~18%) and six upgrade scenarios for these air conditioners. All scenarios assumed 100% adoption of the Connector-Supported Heat Pump (CSHP) in place of window air conditioners: MSHPs at Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) 17, 25, and 33, and CSHPs at SEER 17, 25, and 33. Results show the increased adoption of high-efficiency heat pumps can result in up to 29% air conditioning energy savings for homes with window air conditioners.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-77737


  • buildings
  • EcoSnap
  • heat pump
  • mini split
  • Southern California Edison


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