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Heat Pumps in Michigan Winters.

Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
  • 253 items added with 90,950 views
  • Feb 3, 2022

Arctic heat pumps and closed loop geothermal should be the only heat pumps sold in the state of Michigan. 

In Marquette the average temperature is 20° in Dec; 15° in Jan; and 17 °in Feb. Nov & April in the 30s and March the mid-20s. Standard heat pumps end up using their back up electrical elements at these temperatures. Using as much energy as a furnace.

In Detroit Dec, Jan, and Feb average temps are still below freezing, March, April and Nov would offer a COP of about 2 (50% less energy).

With an Arctic unit, In Marquette the COP is above 2 (except for very cold nights) and reach 3 (67% savings) when the temperature was over freezing. In Detroit, COP would remain above 2.5 (with exceptions).

With a closed loop geothermal system that is designed for cold weather, the COP in both cities would remain above 3, again with exceptions.

In the summer the newest heat pumps have a COP of 4 or better for A/C.

In December in Marquette solar produces 4 percent of its annual output (45 of 1228 KWH) [NREL] and in Detroit December is about 4.5% of annual use. 

By contrast in Dec residential load is almost 9% of electricity, and 15% of natural gas annual use.

Winter should be our concern when planning for the future. 

How do we fix this mismatch?


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Doug Houseman's picture
Thank Doug for the Post!
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