United Kingdom-based water heater manufacturer SAHP Ltd. has brought its revolutionary solar-assisted air source technology to American consumers.
As its name suggest, the Solar Assisted Heat Pumps combines heat pump principles with solar principles to provide a very practical, efficient and cost-effective way of heating your hot water, the company explains.
“They only have one moving component and require minimal maintenance,” says Gwyn Taylor, technical director for the company. “They are reliable, operate quietly, and can reduce a household’s energy consumption, carbon emissions, and utility bill.”
In some ways, the company’s water heaters act very much like other heat pump units, which capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water. Heat pump units use about 60 percent less energy than standard electric water heaters. They cost more than electric-only models, but they pay for themselves in a shorter time, manufacturers says.
Unlike a traditional heat pump unit, the solar assisted heat pump units from SAHP extract heat from the outside air very much in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. “[T]they share the same refrigeration principles as other heat pumps—the closest heat pump relative being an Air Source Heat Pump Water Heater,” Taylor says.
But traditional heat pump water heaters, Taylor explains, have a 60dB rotary compressor that lasts just about 10 years, an enclosed finned tube heat exchanger (evaporator), a fan to convect air over the evaporator, and a condense pump and drain.
By comparison, an SAHP operates at 41db, a reciprocating compressor that last 20+ years, and an externally sited aluminum roll bond heat exchanger (evaporator). Moreover, “in addition to extracting heat from the outside air, Solar Assisted Heat Pumps also receive efficiency uplifts from solar irradiance on the externally sited and exposed, large surface area, aluminum roll bond heat exchanger panel when the sun is shining down on it,” Taylor says.
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“In summary Solar Assisted Heat Pumps share the same basic principles of operation as Hybrid Water Heater does, but utilizes passive convection (wind) rather than forced convection, have fewer moving parts (only one), fewer maintenance actions (no filters or finned heat exchangers or condense drains), lower electrical consumption, low noise levels, and additionally they utilize solar irradiance,” the company says.
The performance of Solar Assisted Heat Pump offers a wide range of benefits for consumers, the company says:
- Solar Assisted Heat Pumps are an efficient and cost-effective way of heating your hot water.
- End users could enjoy lower fuel bills, especially if they are replacing, Oil, LPG or Electrical water heating.
- You can lower your homes carbon emissions, making your home more environmentally friendly.
- Solar Assisted Heat Pumps have fewer moving parts than comparable systems for a more reliable and lower maintenance hot water heating system
- In comparison to other Solar systems, Solar Assisted Heat Pumps utilize Heat Pump and Solar principles, meaning they work both day and night to heat your hot water whenever its needed.
The water heaters come in three capacities: 30 gallons, 52 galloons, and 80 gallons. Unlike most water heaters, the units are square to maximize space and uses closed-cell polyurethane foam to reduce heat loss. As a result, units operate with 300 percent-plus efficiency. The payback time is about two to three years, the company says.
SAHP believes its water heater system is ideal for the U.S. market and has formed alliances with distributor and installation partners here. The company’s first U.S. installation of its product is in New York at the Churchtown Dairy. SAHP says the unit operates with an efficiency of up to 375%.
“We have worked with a number of distributors as we enter the US market, one of our major partners - The Radiant Store - has used our solar assisted heat pump within a new renewable solution to help a homeowner replace their existing fossil fuel heating system with a state of the art, zero emissions heating system using the latest heat pump technologies integrated with systems with solar energy,” the company says.
The company also has distribution coverage in the Florida market and more areas are coming.