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Old 05-24-2015, 10:11 PM
 
9,179 posts, read 4,228,064 times
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Get a hybrid electric water heater, like the ones I have from GE & AO Smith, both of which are heat pumps in reverse.
They take warm air and use it to create hot water. The bonus is that in exchange, they produce as a byproduct, cold dehumidified air that can be directed back into the household.
It is a win, win that benefits everyone.

`
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:19 AM
 
39,171 posts, read 40,553,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
"emergency situation"

How often do you experience brownouts and spikes now?
In my are we have never had them but I know in some areas of the country they occur. For the excess you'd have to check with the utility.


Quote:
To my understanding a 'blackout' is a 'planned event' done by the utility company on purpose.
A brownout is an intentional event, this would be an emergency event. If the demand is exceeding supply which can happen during very high demand they will intentionally shut down areas of the grid to avoid equipment damage.

Instead of a brownout where they are shutting off some people's power they could temporarily shut off everyone's electric hot water heater instead.

A blackout is not intentional and usually because of equipment damage caused by high demand that exceeds the capacity, it affects a very large area, for example the one in 2003 that took many states in the northeast offline.




Quote:
Whereas a power-outage
This is more common and is not the same thing as either of the above. This is localized usually due to storm damage.


Quote:
What makes this into a 'emergency situation' ?
You may be surprised but they walk a tightrope with the operation of the grid. That blackout in 2003 started with a sagging powerline in Ohio that shorted out. That caused a cascading set of events the led to many states without power.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:20 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,096 posts, read 8,102,603 times
Reputation: 18703
This system only works if you are connected to the grid in the first place. We are not.

We have a 30-gallon 'short' electric heater, that fits into a bath closet. It is on a timer, that starts it at about 3 am, and turns it off about 7 am. The other 20 hours, it is off. The bulk of our hot water usage is from 5 to 7 am - that's when we take showers, use the dishwasher, and any other hot water use. Think about it: isn't it wasteful to heat water all day, when you use hot water for only a couple hours a day? Maybe not with a 50+ gallon tank, but it is with a 30 gallon tank!

We use cold water only for laundry; and items that need hot-water treatment are pre-laundered in the laundry tub/sink prior to going into the machine. Our daily water supply is pumped into a 40-gallon tank over the bathroom walls; it is used over the course of the day for flushing, hand-washing, dish-rinsing and other small usages; it tends to room temp, not ice-cold. This allows us to keep the pumps off for most of the day, as well as the water heater. Great energy savings.

I tend to agree with Sub on this one: we wouldn't appreciate having the utility turns things in our home on and off remotely...and there will be more of this in the future, as all your energy-star appliances will be able to be remotely-controlled by the utility via the 'Smart grid'. Sub describes the grid in Maine as being unreliable anyway; I am not sorry that we're not connected. We have no knowledge of an outage when it occurs. Our power is always "ON"!
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:36 AM
 
39,171 posts, read 40,553,882 times
Reputation: 16064
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vector1 View Post
Get a hybrid electric water heater, like the ones I have from GE & AO Smith, both of which are heat pumps in reverse.
They take warm air and use it to create hot water. The bonus is that in exchange, they produce as a byproduct, cold dehumidified air that can be directed back into the household.
It is a win, win that benefits everyone.

`

It's only a win if you live in warmer climate and removing heat from the home is desirable. During colder weather in most cases it will cost you more and will always increase your energy use. The only reason it may not cost you more is if the cost per BTU of your main heating source is cheaper per BTU than electric, for example natural gas. In that case though it would be even cheaper and less energy to directly heat the water with natural gas.


Suppose you have electric heat. You can put 3000 BTU's into the air and then use another 1000 BTU's of energy to extract that heat to put it into the water. That can never be as efficient as directly putting the 3000 BTU's into the water to begin with.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:43 AM
 
39,171 posts, read 40,553,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Think about it: isn't it wasteful to heat water all day, when you use hot water for only a couple hours a day? Maybe not with a 50+ gallon tank, but it is with a 30 gallon tank!
Not really, suppose the temperature drops from 120 to 90 degrees over a 24 hour period. You're going to use almost as enegy bringing that water back up 30 degrees as you would have maintaining it. It's only when the water hits ambient temperature that you begin saving money and that might take 2 or 3 days... .


Quote:
We have no knowledge of an outage when it occurs. Our power is always "ON"!
We get the occasional outage here, usually an accident or storm damage. A few times a year and usually lasts about 5 or 6 hours. We did have two that lasted longer but that was two hurricanes and damage was widespread. We're at the end of the list for getting things fixed. We have a generator, we don't even bother starting it for those short events.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,096 posts, read 8,102,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Not really, suppose the temperature drops from 120 to 90 degrees over a 24 hour period. You're going to use almost as enegy bringing that water back up 30 degrees as you would have maintaining it. It's only when the water hits ambient temperature that you begin saving money and that might take 2 or 3 days... .
Ahh, but we aren't 'spending money'; we're spending photons (via solar panels). But you're right, you have to spend something. If we had a 50+ tank (as I noted above) it might not be much of a savings. But our little 'shorty' 30-gal. tank heats up to snuff in 2 hours, and uses no more power in those 2 hours than it would have anyway. After another 2 hours, it's OFF, and stays off for 20 hours. I know it uses ZERO power during that time!
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,624 posts, read 49,262,259 times
Reputation: 19004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vector1 View Post
Get a hybrid electric water heater, like the ones I have from GE & AO Smith, both of which are heat pumps in reverse.
They take warm air and use it to create hot water. The bonus is that in exchange, they produce as a byproduct, cold dehumidified air that can be directed back into the household.
It is a win, win that benefits everyone.

`
They have been trying to market heat-pumps in this region for over 10 years. A SC company built a large apartment complex near our state uni a couple years ago, with heat-pumps as their only method of heating. It has made a huge problem, because as we all know they are not capable of producing heat in the winter here.

About 5 years ago they developed the 'mini-split heat-pump with variable-speed compressor'. Now these things have been proven to work. Operating a Freon compressor is a massive load. With the variable-speed compressor the physics change and they are capable of producing some heat.

As far as showing a 'benefit', they can be cheaper to operate, so long as they are compared to heating oil.

Not that many people burn heating oil in my town, as it is such an expensive method of heat to begin with.

'Mini-split heat-pumps with variable-speed compressor' are more economical to use as compared to oil. So you can say that it is not the most expensive method of heating a home, there is a method that is more expensive to operate.

That is not much of a 'win' for anyone.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:49 AM
 
Location: DC
6,504 posts, read 6,423,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
Our home heating system uses a Thermal-bank, consisting of four electric water-heaters in series [they are plumbed but not wired]. I can not tell how quickly they cool. During the heating season, the water is circulating through our radiant flooring.

I have looked at expanding our Thermal-bank, and I have been told many times that a purpose built thermal-bank tank will hold heat far better and longer than water-heaters will.
I'm not sure that passes the "So what" test. People who have electric water heaters have been allowing their utilities to control them for about 30 years. It works great for peak shaving. The water heater is typically on a 20 minute cycle and will only be switched once an hour. Unless the homeowner is in the middle of using the hot water he/she will not notice anything. If they are they will notice the unit takes a little longer to recover than usual.

If you have some other heating/storage system, that's fine but not relevant to the current discussion.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,624 posts, read 49,262,259 times
Reputation: 19004
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
I'm not sure that passes the "So what" test. People who have electric water heaters have been allowing their utilities to control them for about 30 years. It works great for peak shaving. The water heater is typically on a 20 minute cycle and will only be switched once an hour. Unless the homeowner is in the middle of using the hot water he/she will not notice anything. If they are they will notice the unit takes a little longer to recover than usual.

If you have some other heating/storage system, that's fine but not relevant to the current discussion.
In our previous four homes, some of them did have electric water-heaters. None of those homes had utilities controlling them, or 'peak shaving'.
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:15 PM
 
Location: DC
6,504 posts, read 6,423,574 times
Reputation: 3102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
In our previous four homes, some of them did have electric water-heaters. None of those homes had utilities controlling them, or 'peak shaving'.
There are about 3000 electric utilities in the country. Not all are innovative. Electric cooperative are the biggest proponents of controlable load.
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