New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:26 pm

I can pretty much guarantee anything with the words "hybrid" or "green" is going to be a big disappointment. Those two words appeal to people who will put a fantasy of a "pristine" environment above reasonable objectives. If you want hot water, "hybrid" or "green" isn't the way to do it.

If you believe the media hype about the earth turning black & the human race choking to death on pure carbon dust, then by all means, have at it. But while you "save the world", your not going to have hot water when you need it.

If I buy a car with 35 horsepower to tow my 2,000 lb. trailer with a 5,500 lb diesel truck on board, it's going to get GREAT mileage .... but it's not going to get me where I need to go .....
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:00 pm

I'm not buying it to save the earth. I just want to get off oil and not get killed by my power company. It seems like this HW heater will work but I would need to change my showering habits. I'll be going from a system with unlimited hot water to a system with the worst recovery rate possible. I'm not sure it's worth the trouble.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:02 pm

I don't know about you, but I have no desire to go backwards in any aspect of my life.

Just my .02 ... ;)
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler


Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:00 pm

Good point! I can always go to electric later if oil prices become insanely high.

SMITTY wrote:I don't know about you, but I have no desire to go backwards in any aspect of my life.

Just my .02 ... ;)
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:50 pm

traderfjp wrote:I'm not buying it to save the earth. I just want to get off oil and not get killed by my power company. It seems like this HW heater will work but I would need to change my showering habits. I'll be going from a system with unlimited hot water to a system with the worst recovery rate possible. I'm not sure it's worth the trouble.



That was one of the reasons why I said I don't want to be a test subject. I want to see real numbers of savings from people that take normal showers. You could save money with oil or electric, just take cold showers, cause that is what you might have to do if you want it to stay in heat pump mode.
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:02 pm

That is insanely funny! I think heat pump technology make sense but not for high demand situations. If there are two or three people in the house and the showers are spread apart it should work fine. I did read a lot of reviews on the Lowes site and there are many happy campers.

That was one of the reasons why I said I don't want to be a test subject. I want to see real numbers of savings from people that take normal showers. You could save money with oil or electric, just take cold showers, cause that is what you might have to do if you want it to stay in heat pump mode.[/quote]
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:04 pm

At least we are having fun. If you go through with it please keep us all updated on savings and if you had to adjust you showering habits.




Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: McGiever On: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:16 pm

I must confess...I'm a heat pump water heater guy of 15 years. :o

My approach is a little different though, as I do it w/ a water-to-water heat pump, and not an air-to-water.

My unit is large and needs to be... 5 people in the house and youngest is 18...3 females types. Lots and lots of hot water everyday.

During the colder months my incoming water service temps are in the upper 30s to lower 40s and it needs to be brought up to 120*F in a 80 gal. tank over and over again. This requires many btus to accomplish...hmmm...thinking boiler....errr...oh, back to topic...
During the hotter months it swings the other way and water is on the warmer side.
I have been pleased w/ how economical this works since castrating the 4500 watt elements.

My unit, ground source heat-pump, actually does heat and cool my house as well, cause it also has the water-to-air side for forced air. Water heating has priority over forced air, though, as water heating is done by full output of the compressor...not by desuperheating method.

Why do I mess w/ coal?...Well, that would be a subject for another thread. :)
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: New GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater in Series

PostBy: Jeff On: Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:42 am

I have two homes in Connecticut, both heated with oil boilers with tankless coils and have just installed my second heat pump water heater. I could have gone with indirect storage but chose this route. Neither has good solar access and propane is equally high and there is no natural gas. If I had solar access, that would have been my first choice. The first unit I installed three years ago before GE and others were offering combined (heat pump / tank) units was a unit made in Maine by Nyle called a Nyle 1 and connected it to an 80 gallon storage tank due to five people in the house. I put a switch to block electric operation of the backup electric and have never turned it on. The larger the tank, the less the need for back up because these only recover at about 6000 BTU's per hour, so if you want to go solely heat pump, the tank must be large enough for your family. Electricity here is 20 cents per KWH but the overall efficiency of running a boiler on maintained temperature is so low, this really pays off unless you have a very high efficiency condensing boiler with indirect storage. In my case, I piped the input to the water heater to the output of the tankless coil and re-wired the aquastat on the boiler to no longer maintain temperature, only to fire on heating demand. So, in the winter, there is some pre-heat.

I have looked at the GE unit and others before buying the one for my second house and decided again on the add-on heat pump for several reasons. The GE unit is attractive because it is stainless which will last a long time but the 50 gallon capacity is too small and I believe, the electric would be coming on too often unless you were really frugal with use. There are some other heat pump units made in 80 gallon capacity but they approach 2K in cost but not sure if they are stainless. But, I wasn't impressed with the transfer method of these units. Most just wrap the tank with the refrigeration coil (condensor) instead of direct immersion. What I like about the add - on units is that it uses a tube in tube counterflow condensor with a small circulator which is much more efficient even with the small extra electricity used by the circulator. I also felt that if the tank failed, I would be out my entire 2K and couldn't transfer the heat pump to a new tank. But, also I liked the idea of the free air conditioning in the summer being ducted upstairs to my kitchen. For the second unit, a Nyle Geyser-R, I bought the duct plate and run the output through flex duct to a register in the kitchen and make up air returns through another vent. In the winter, I close the vent, disconnect the flex and pickup the heat from the room as the boiler is right next to it. For this installation, I also changed the boiler to non-maintaining temperature and allow it to pre-heat in the winter. Again, I have not allowed the electric to come on in the 80 gallon tank I bought from Home Depot.

So, depending upon how large your family is, the size of your tank, how you diversify your use will change the amount you save by not using electricity directly for backup. The GE units that you are considering allow you to select the mode if you want to try without using the backup portion. All of these units whether add on or integral require a condensate drain and if you can't drain by gravity, you have to add a condensate pump and tubing to a drain. Make sure you put it in a room large enough to get the heat exchange. These cannot go in a closet.

A little about efficiency, all of them that use the better refrigerants such as R410, 411, etc or Pureon have a high COP but the COP changes drastically in the heat cycle and depending upon the ambient temperature. For example, if you had this unit in a warm garage as people do in Florida, the COP is close to 4.0 all the time. In my New England basement, the unit will turn on when the bottom of the tank is cold from make up water and with the room temperature at about 65, the COP is about 3.5, but as the water gets closer to 120 degrees, the COP drops to 2.8 for the unit but you have to add the tank loss and in my case the circulator loss so overall seasonal, all of the units end up at around 2.5 for a normal basement. But, if your basement is too cool, say below 50, your COP will drop again. So, instead of getting 3412 BTUs per KWH, I am sure to get 8500 BTU's for my 20 cents per KWH. My boiler which is quite old, no damper, probably has an AFUE of 60% for DHW only but there are all those jacket and flue losses when the unit is off but maintaining so I figured overall about 50% of my gallon of oil (138000) BTU's is lost. So, I might pay 3.75 for a gallon of oil 69,000 BTU's net. 69,000 / 8500 = is about 8.1 KWH for the equivalent energy which at 20 cents comes out to $1.62, quite a savings. So, with an old boiler, you will save money, but for your 2K investment, it might take two or three years to pay it back. I figure with the current oil prices, I am saving about $110.00 per month in oil for a family of five but my electric bill went up in the winter, spring and fall by $45.00. I don't count the summer because of the window air conditioning unit in the kitchen is probably running less.

But, I get some free air conditioning and dehumidification for the months of June, July, August and September which is nice here in Connecticut. What else have I noticed? The basement is cooler and quieter in the summer. But, it is also cooler in the winter as the boiler is no longer maintaining temperature. I look at it as the AFUE of my boiler has improved in the winter since my heat pump is picking up jacket losses but in mild weather, the boiler actually cools off so flue and standby losses go way down. I had one accident though in one of the houses. I forgot to tell the oil company that I installed the heat pump water heater and they came to fill up the tank in the summer assuming summer domestic hot water use. The problem was the tank was already full, so they over pressurized the tank, blew the tank gauge plastic off and spilled a small amount of oil on the floor and a small amount sprayed on the ceiling and wall. They were very nice about it though and repaired the gauge, cleaned up the oil and I apologized profusely for not letting them know so they didn't charge me for the oil or the clean up. But, it is nice not to get an oil bill in the summer and I kind of look at it like I am doing my thing for the environment while saving money at the same time.

If you have any other questions, I would be glad to help and I also got considerable advice from Nyle in Maine from their head engineer, Don Lewis (nyle.com)
Jeff
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Nyle
Stove/Furnace Model: Geyser-R