Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


ORNL, General Electric Collaborate on Super Efficient Electric Water Heater

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have collaborated to finalize, test and market the first product from a major brand to meet DOE’s new Energy Star criteria for electric heat pump water heaters.

The GE ® Hybrid Water Heater is affordable and designed to be 50 % more energy efficient than a standard 50 gallon electric water heater, which should help reduce carbon emissions associated with standard electric storage water heaters in the average home.

GE and Oak Ridge National Laboratory entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement where ORNL and GE will jointly test and market the units, which could be available in home improvement centers by late 2009.

The initiative coincides with DOE’s announcement in April of the first ever Energy Star criteria for water heaters. Energy Star labels on appliances make it easy for consumers to buy the most energy efficient products available. According to DOE projections, Energy Star labels on water heaters are expected to save Americans about $780 million in utility costs and avoid 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in five years. GE is the first major brand to announce plans for a heat pump model that will be designed to meet the Energy Star criteria.

"The cooperation announced today is a real-life example of how the nation’s public and private sectors are working together to accelerate new energy efficient technology solutions to the marketplace,” DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner said. “Commercialization of ENERGY STAR water heaters will give Americans yet another way to make smart energy choices that will save money and energy, and in the interest of increasing energy security and addressing climate change, help further the President’s goal of fundamentally changing the way this nation uses energy.”

Bob Hawsey, director of ORNL’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program said “water heating accounts for 12 percent of U.S. home energy consumption, and since about 4.5 million electric storage water heaters are purchased annually, literally millions of consumers each year will have the opportunity to cut their electric water heating bills in half with a modest investment that will pay for itself in a few years.”

The synergy between DOE Energy Star goals, ORNL science and technology capabilities, and GE has made efficient water heating a fertile area for substantial energy savings, Hawsey said.

Patrick Hughes, Director of ORNL’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center said “DOE has raised the bar for energy efficiency through the Energy Star program, and GE has risen to the challenge. It is very gratifying and exciting to see this type of marketplace response. These are the kinds of products that will have to emerge at affordable prices if zero energy homes are ever to become a reality.”

The technological roots of the new heat pump water heater can be traced to a previous product cycle where ORNL and its partners were recognized with an R&D 100 award in 2001. GE, which has won 163 R&D 100 awards, and ORNL, with 134, rank 1st and 2nd in the number of R&D 100 awards received by any company, laboratory, or other institution.

While always much more efficient than conventional units, the new generation of heat pump water heaters are more durable, reliable, easier to install, and cost less than initial designs.

The new models can easily be installed by a plumber to replace an existing water heater. The installed cost will be about $400 more than a conventional 50-gallon water heater (resellers/retailers determine their own resale value), but the energy savings in about two years may cover the additional cost of purchase.

Testing and analysis on the new heat pump water heaters will be conducted in ORNL’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center and at field sites to be named later. The work is supported by GE and DOE’s Building Technologies Program within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

For more information on the GE Hybrid Water Heater,

To read about DOE’s Energy Star criteria for water heaters,

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

GE Consumer & Industrial spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliance, lighting and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services. Providing solutions for commercial, industrial and residential use in more than 100 countries, GE Consumer & Industrial uses innovative technologies and “ecomagination,” a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that help customers and consumers meet pressing environmental challenges, to deliver comfort, convenience and electrical protection and control. General Electric (NYSE: GE) brings imagination to work, selling products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, SmartWater™, Reveal®, GE Edison™, and EnergySmart™ consumer brands, and Entellisys™ industrial brand.

Mike Bradley | newswise
Further information:

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>