7. What are the top 3 trends you see in water heater innovation? Explain the significance of each reply. (Solar, efficiencies, smaller footprint, dual-coil, hybrid)
A) The solar market is booming. Though a solar system is not inexpensive to purchase and install, many people are deciding to go ahead with it as a hedge against the current and future price volatility in the fossil fuel markets. There are federal, and in most cases state incentives, which can cut the cost of an installed system up to about 40%.
B) Stiebel Eltron tankless electric water heaters are nearly 100% efficient, converting 100% of consumed electrical energy into heat. Gas models will have a reduction in efficiency of 10-20%, due to the combustion process and venting requirement.
Energy Saving – The average home uses about 5,000kwh for water heating if an electric water heater is being used. 20% of that would be 1,000kwh that is saved every year by using a Stiebel Eltron tankless electric water heater. These savings can be achieved with small additional initial investment. The additional incremental installed cost of a tankless system versus tank type is small.
C) Because the Stiebel Eltron tankless water heaters are all electric and do not require venting of combustion gases into the outside atmosphere, they provide the user with a much smaller environmental footprint. Inside the house they are also more efficient with regard to a space usage footprint. Our largest Tempra 36 model is only about 22 inches wide, the Tempra™ 24 about 15 inches wide, both about 15 inches high and 5 inches deep. Compared with the bulky traditional tanks, this can provide a great deal of space saving and present various mounting alternatives. Point-of-use units are even smaller, with our Mini™ measuring 6.5” high x 7.5” wide and 3.5” deep.
8. What would you consider is your top seller in regard to technology and why?
Stiebel Eltron is continually making improvements to its line of Tempra™ whole house tankless, electric water heaters. A Tempra™ upgrade and new Tempra™ Plus model are coming in 2008. These will include an upgraded basic model which will be capable of heating water to 140 degrees, among other enhancements. Additionally, Stiebel Eltron will present the Tempra™ Plus models which will automatically adjust the water flow rate in case the unit is not able to maintain the set point temperature.
9. Is your company involved with “green” building?
Yes, as “green” building is becoming increasingly important throughout the nation, Stiebel Eltron is making sure that people are being informed of the energy and space saving benefits that tankless water heaters can provide. Also, our solar thermal systems provide the largest amount of saving, and we encourage people to plan for a solar thermal system if they are designing a new house by setting the piping structure in place now for easy retrofit down the road.
10. Anything else you’d like to add?
When it comes to water heating, tankless is the way of the future. For very little additional investment you can get substantial energy savings. In this age of rapidly rising energy costs there is a big need to find technologies that give you a lot of “bang for the buck”, which provides good savings and little added initial investment.
If you are building a new house or apartment make sure that you place the tankless unit in a location that minimizes the pipe runs to the hot water draw off points. This way you can make sure that as little water as possible is wasted. When someone turns on the hot water, less water has to be flushed before the hot water gets to the faucet. In many homes it also make sense to place a point-of-use unit under the kitchen sink.
If homeowners / remodelers research the proper sizing for the application at hand, they should be perfectly content with a tankless water heater. As tankless water heaters are heating cold water as it passes through the unit from a city or well source, there is logically a finite gpm flow rate in order to heat the water to your target temperature – usually 110 degrees for a good warm shower or bath. Tankless units are dependent on the amount of water flow (gpm), and the amount of temperature rise required (difference between incoming water temp and outgoing temp from unit). The larger the temperature rise required, the fewer number of gallons per min can be heated to the set-point temperature. Graphs of this temperature rise and gpm flow rate relationship are available directly from Stiebel Eltron or at our website (www.stiebel-eltron-usa.com). The incoming water temp will vary some throughout the year and thus the curves will shift slightly. This might mean that some tasks will need to be scheduled in sequence, which should not be a problem because there is an unlimited supply of hot water available through the tankless heater.
Submitted by Stiebel Eltron USA. Stiebel Eltron produces some of the highest quality electric tankless water heaters, thermal solar products, automatic hand dryers, and space heaters. For more information you can visit their website at www.stiebel-eltron-USA.com or call (800)582-8423.