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Green Heat: Hot Water Energy Offset System

[+] Author Affiliations
Nathaniel Fowler, Jeff Wiand, Bryan Eddy, Andrew D. Lowery, James E. Smith

West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Paper No. POWER2014-32058, pp. V002T09A008; 6 pages
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 2: Simple and Combined Cycles; Advanced Energy Systems and Renewables (Wind, Solar and Geothermal); Energy Water Nexus; Thermal Hydraulics and CFD; Nuclear Plant Design, Licensing and Construction; Performance Testing and Performance Test Codes; Student Paper Competition
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4609-4
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The implementation of renewable energy systems is often regarded by the consumer to be too costly and too complex to maintain and operate. For instance converting sunlight or wind energy to electricity along with the conditioning equipment required to put energy into the system can be cost prohibitive for a residential or commercial application. The proposed system implements multiple renewable energy components working in series. These components bypass those costly electrical energy conversions by converting the acquired energy into heat, which can be utilized to offset a portion of the energy consumed within the home or business. This system can be made completely transparent with little or no impact on the consumers’ lifestyle. Also, the proposed system, by only attempting to offset a portion of the current usage, will be simple and inexpensive to assemble and maintain with a short return on investment.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration an estimated 10 quadrillion Btu’s are consumed by 113.6 million houses in the United States, while 1.8 quadrillion Btu’s of the total energy is used for hot water heating [1]. It has been shown that approximately 20% of the energy costs associated with most residential and small commercial businesses stem from hot water heating. A patent-pending technology, called a viscous controller, attached at the base of a wind turbine, which operates in series with a traditional thermal solar collector to supplement the energy used in the hot water tank. This technology reduces the cost of the system and allows for the average homeowner and small business owner to offset their current energy usage, incorporate renewable energy sources, and offer a 4–5 year return on initial investment. More importantly, if this system is implemented in only a portion of the target market, it has the potential to completely offset the rising energy demands for the United States each year for the foreseeable future.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Heat , Hot water



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