Hybrid water heaters is a general term that includes two or more of existing water heating techniques to minimize the cost of heating water. For example, you can combine the best of both the storage water heater and tankless water heater. This type of water heater keeps a small amount of water warm to reduce the lag created by tankless water heaters when water has not been used for a while. Then it behaves like a tankless water heater, turning on when demanded, when in frequent use. It is more efficient than both storage water heaters and tankless water heaters, but more expensive. Some other types of hybrid water heaters are outlined below.
Conventional Solar panels get hot when exposed to full summer sun. You can place a solar hot water heater beneath the panels to draw away excess heat and use it for other purposes, such as heating a swimming pool. The solar panels operate much more efficiently when cooler. So you have the dual benefit of water heating and higher electricity production.
In climates with freezing winter temperatures, a stand alone solar water heater may not be adequate. Many water heater installation designs combine solar with fuel based systems to save energy and money.
Do it yourself hybrid solar water heating kits are available at very reasonable prices and are designed for easy installation. Heliatos of southern California offers solar water kits by mail order. These kits offer the simplest of methods of installation. It uses solar water heating panels that use a solar powered water pump to circulate water through your existing conventional storage tank water heater.
Eternal Hybrid Water Heater, produced by a company in the Houston, Texas area, is a very nifty device that achieves 98% efficiency. It does this with three primary techniques. One, the hybrid water heater minimizes pipe turns within, so that water pressure reduction is minimized and sediment deposits do not accumulate. Second, it has a small storage tank that keeps a small amount of water hot for immediate use when you turn on the hot water faucet. This overcomes the deficiency of tankless water heater's delay in getting the hot water to the use point. Third, it uses the combustion heat three times before exhausting it out of the unit. This greatly reduces the amount of fuel needed to produce hot water. The unit qualifies for Energy Star rating, as well as all current local, state, and federal credits.
This example uses locally produced wood pellets alaong with solar collectors to boil water for kitchen as well as assist in heating the building. A large pipe carrying the heated water was mounted to the cieling acts like a radiator dispursing warmth into the room. Here is a video explaining the project.
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