There are only four days left on his Kickstarter campaign, but Jerry Callahan of ISI Technology isn’t worried. His project has already raised over three times the amount it needs to achieve funding. At the moment, 1,279 backers have pledged $399,989 of the $125,000 goal.
It’s heartening to see the public enthusiasm for practical devices like this: the tankless electric water heater Heatworks Model 1 solves the design problems of other heaters and allows users to save a lot of water and energy — up to 40% on energy, and 10% on water, says Callahan.
Every single time you turn on the hot water tap you save between 1 and 2 gallons per minute. At an average of 20 hot water draws per day per house, that’s 20 to 40 gallons of water every single day. (Jerry Callahan)
There are several ways you can use the device. Instead of running hot water pipes from a distant source such as a furnace room or basement, you can run a cold water pipe + electrical wiring and place a Heatworks unit at the point where you want hot water. If you’ve ever lived in a big house with an old hot water system, you know how much water can be wasted while waiting at the tap.
You can also install the device on hot water piping. The Heatworks Model 1’s advanced temperature control system works with preheated water, and would complement many solar hot water designs.
The device also betters other tankless water heaters by using graphite electrodes instead of standard heating coils:
Electricity passes through a heating coil which is heated to over 1000°F (538 °C) which then heats the water. This process means that a tremendous strain is placed on the coil which frequently burns out or breaks in as little as 12 months. Most units also contain a flow switch, which is inherently unreliable technology. The flow switch creates a “flutter” of alternating hot and cold water at low flow rates, which is frustrating and uncomfortable, but also unsafe due to excessive heating of water which can cause scalding. Heatworks Model 1’s graphite electrodes use the resistance of the water to heat it, and so they never get hotter than the surrounding water. This ensures a long life while heating the water reliably and consistently, even at low flow rates.
Even when they work well, says Callahan, other electric tankless units take a minimum of 30 seconds to generate hot water, which means more water wasted.
Another problem with competing tankless heaters is the sheer number and variety of units available. A typical tankless water heater must be chosen specifically for the electrical system where it will be used, but because the Heatworks Model 1 automatically senses voltage and current, the unit is nearly universal. No specific device is needed – the Heatworks Model 1 fits nearly all situations.
This is how quality design works. Strange ideas are often heard when you try to do something green (If everyone drives electric cars we won’t have enough electricity, or, If we only grow organic food we won’t have enough food to feed the planet), but there’s little room for argument when you reduce the complexity of green choices. We need more good alternatives like this that can simplify our lives.
[vimeo 83248190 w=750&h=422]