Reliable, Efficient Heat Pump Water Heaters

November/December 2005
A version of this article appears in the November/December 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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November 01, 2005
About 10% of California residents use conventional electric water heating—a technology that’s expensive to operate and contributes to peak demand. Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) are an efficient alternative, consuming less than half as much electricity as their conventional cousins (see “All Pumped Up,” HE Nov/Dec ’02, p. 30). However, products available to date have been expensive to manufacture, install, and maintain. The Watter$aver heat pump water heater, developed by TIAX LLC in conjunction with manufacturer ECR International, has a shorter installation time than other HPWHs and offers the same life expectancy as a standard electric resistance heater. The Watter$aver is now available as a commercial product from ECR. Laboratory and field tests have confirmed its high performance and reliability (see Table 1) . The Watter$aver represents a significant advance over traditional 50-gallon water heaters. TIAX has field-tested 20 of its 50-gallon Watter$avers in different California climate zones, installing those units in different areas within the home (garage, basement, or laundry room) and in homes with different numbers of occupants and varying degrees of water hardness. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) also tested 10 units in the lab and found the estimated life expectancy for ...

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