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Hot Water Guy Blog
Miscellaneous Engineering Data
Articles about Hybrid Water Heaters
A collection of articles about the various new brands and models of hybrid water
heaters that are gaining in popularity. Hybrids usually consist of a combination
of either a heat pump with an electric hot water tank or a tankless heater
combined with a hot water tank.
The A.O. Smith hybrid water heater has a small "buffer tank".
Rumors are that it is around 15 to 20 gallons. With a buffer tank the unit
can deliver hot water faster This also
allows the burner to not have to fire with relatively small hot water uses, such
as hand washing. It is a condensing type heater
with a 90% “thermal efficiency”, and it has a secondary heat exchanger used to
capture heat from the flue gas. It should also work with hot water circulating systems.
The Voltex hybrid water heater incorporates a heat pump water heater and an electric tank type water heater. Heat pump water heaters are very efficient, operating much like your refrigerator in reverse. They pull heat out of the air and transfer the heat to the water in the tank. Heat pumps are not perfect. A heat pump has a harder time pulling heat out of the air as the temperature decreases. By the time the ambient air temperature reaches 40 to 45 degrees heat pumps are no longer efficient.
The new "Eternal Hybrid Water Heater" combines a tankless water heater with a tank… what a novel idea. The tank though is much smaller than a traditional storage water heaters tank. It it isn’t trying to be the source of all the hot water, it's only to help solve some of the problems that tankless water heaters are subject to.
buffer tank the unit can deliver hot water faster because there is sufficient hot water in the tank to begin sending
water to the fixtures right away.
Before the buffer tank runs out of hot water the tankless heater gets up to
temperature and begins supplying the hot water.
The GeoSpring hybrid water heater manufactured by General Electric is an electric storage water heater with a heat pump mounted on top. GE states that their hybrid unit saves up to 62% and up to $320 per year on your water heating energy bill, and they also claim that it is the most energy efficient 50-gallon electric water heater you on the market. It is ENERGY STAR® qualified with a listed energy factor in hybrid mode of 2.35. Like all of heat pump water heaters, it works good in warm climates and not so good in cold climates.
The Rheem hybrid water heater is a combination storage electric tank type water heater and heat pump water heater. Heat pump water heaters work just like your air conditioner, but instead moving the heat from the inside air to the outside air it move the heat from the air around it to the water in the tank.
If the air is too cold for the heat pump to work then backup heating elements
take over. Rheem has
a 40 and a 50 gallon hybrid water heater using heat pumps. The Rheem unit
has three modes of operation, heat pump only which is the most efficient, normal
mode, and electric heating elements only. There is
also a “vacation” mode that maintains the water in the heater at 90 degrees.
Article about hybrid heat pump water heaters in general. No specific brands or types mentioned.
Another general article about hybrid tankless water heaters. Pros and cons of tankless hybrid hot water heaters.
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