LG Electronics, University of Alaska Anchorage Form Heat Pump Research Group

Heat pumps outside of a building

(Credit: Canva Pro)

by | Nov 7, 2023

LG Electronics has teamed up with the University of Alaska Anchorage to form the Consortium for Advanced Heat Pump Research, which will foster enhanced research and development on heat pump technology and electrification.

Heat pumps are the new go-to for heating and cooling as they are more energy efficient, using electricity to transfer heat. Switching to heat pump systems improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, heat pumps still reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% compared with a gas boiler with today’s refrigerants, according to the International Energy Agency.

The agreement between LG Electronics and UAA will bring together LG innovators, university researchers, local industry, and government agencies to further advance research on heat pumps and their impact. In particular, the Consortium will focus on the rising interest in cold-climate heat pump technologies and will leverage technologists at LG Electronics and the College of Engineering at UAA and its HVAC Lab. 

“The Consortium for Advanced Heat Pump Research will raise the bar and push the limits of the high-performance, high-capacity heat pump industry,” James Lee, global president of the LG Electronics Air Solutions business unit, said in a statement. “Results from the joint research will be used in North America and Europe to help shape the future of the HVAC industry.”

Alaska is a good setting for the research due to the engineering expertise at the university, but also the cold climate. The research aims to make a “substantial global impact” and establish new benchmarks for energy efficiency and sustainability.

The Consortium plans to identify pivotal research areas, in addition to comprehensive studies and presentations on advanced heat pump technology. The studies will be conducted in two dedicated LG Cold Climate Heat Pump Labs in Anchorage and Fairbanks, which will be configured like real-world homes. They will use LG HVAC solutions, including both ducted and duct-free indoor and outdoor units and LG’s inverter heat pump water heater.

“This cutting-edge consortium sets the stage for a new era of electrification, enabled by heat pump innovations as well as energy storage systems and smart appliances,” said LG Electronics North America CEO Thomas Yoon. “Working with the University of Alaska will further accelerate LG’s efforts to drive market transformation supporting the decarbonization of buildings throughout North America and around the world.”

The launch of the Consortium comes after the U.S. Climate Alliance recently secured a series of new commitments from its members to eliminate building emissions by pushing heat pump installations. The Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 25 governors representing approximately 60% of the U.S. economy and 55% of the U.S. population.

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