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Football-Sized Units Could Replace Your Bulky Hot Water Tank


Could save an average family hundreds of dollars each year.

The Heatworks Model 1 is 12 in long and 6 inches in diameter (Kickstarter).

Nobody (sane) loves a cold shower. And the designers of this little heater say they've solved both the bulk and break issues of 60-gallon water tanks and tankless heaters, likely saving your family hundreds of dollars in the process.

The Heatworks Model 1 is 12 in long and 6 inches in diameter (Kickstarter). The Heatworks Model 1 measures a length of 12 inches and 6 inches in diameter (Image source: Kickstarter).

Reliable-yet-huge hot water tanks are outdated and take up too much space, and tankless water heaters save on space but force the user to flow cold water until the heating element kicks into gear - often wasting several gallons of water until the ideal shower temperature starts flowing.

But one veteran engineer and his tiny tank plan to change all that, via Heatworks Kickstarter campaign. The foot-long Model 1 claims a savings of 40% on energy costs and 10% on wasted water compared to an electric tank-style heater, according to Gizmodo.

The Model 1 boasts two distinct improvements; it uses graphite electrodes and printed circuit boards, and gets rid of the need for a flow switch. By removing the erodible resistance heating elements, Heatworks claims to significantly improve reliability and achieve truly instant hot water.

Two resistance elements from a standard tankless water heater, one with evidence of erosion because of high-heat mineral build-up. (ISI Technology). Two resistance elements from a standard tankless water heater, one with evidence of erosion due to high-heat mineral build-up. (Image source: ISI Technology).

The Heatworks Kickstarter pages cites a Department of Energy report that claims an average family can save $100 each year by switching to a tankless system. And by reducing water usage by 20-40 gallons as-advertised, that is more cash in the collective family pocket.

So far, the Kickstarter campaign is a success, raising well above the target investment. Heatworks project manager Jerry Callahan began brainstorming for a hot water solution when he was searching for a tankless water heater for an outdoor shower he was building.

"(Jerry) was discouraged from buying any of the existing products because of their high failure rate and complexity in selecting the correct model. (He) took on the challenge and invented the patented technology that is the core of ISI," states the ISI website (Callahan is also the CEO of ISI Technology, which already offers another tankless option for users who don't want to wait for the Kickstarter model).

Callahan also claims in the Kickstarter video if the Model 1 is used during new construction rather than installation of hot water piping, home owners could see immediate and long-term savings.

If you want to geek out on the project white paper, you can check it out here. If you want to see the gadgets come to life, watch below!


(H/T: Gizmodo)

Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.

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