Intellihot’s Ideal Water Heater

Sri's Blog

Intellihot’s Ideal Water Heater

Sridhar Deivasigamani

An ideal water heating system should be just like your car: it should be started when you are ready to go, not left idling overnight; and it should be reliable. It should start up in rain, sun, snow, or any inclement weather. And it should run on the fuel of any octane rating.

Unfortunately, current water heating systems are akin to using a bulldozer to commute to work: big, bulky, and left running. To make matters worse, sometimes two bulldozers are installed for the sake of redundancy and reliability.

An ideal water heating system should be able to handle varying loads with precise temperature control, learn and adapt to changes in operating conditions, and be compact, energy-efficient, and easy to install—all of which Intellihot heaters do.

The water heaters we have developed at Intellihot are truly distinct from anything else on the market. Traditional water heaters come in two basic designs: 1. tank and 2. boiler with a side-arm tank. Neither design heats water when needed (on-demand) nor is it effective at serving the market in terms of efficiency, reliability, cost, and space. First, these systems produce large volumes of hot water 24/7 even when water is not being used, resulting in large standby losses over time. Second, they have poor heat transfer due to their system design, and frequently the efficiency of heat transfer is further reduced by a build-up of sediment and scale.

Intellihot’s water heating systems are designed to overcome these deficiencies and realize the full potential of on-demand technology while delivering unparalleled reliability and savings in energy and space. Here’s a glimpse of how it works:

Intellihot uses a propriety patented method called “masterless cascading.” This system eliminates the need for a master controller and the single-point failures that can arise from the failure of a master controller. In addition, the Intellihot units share information on run hours, firing cycles, flow, etc.—then use an algorithm to distinguish city driving versus highway driving and automatically rotate units to normalize wear and tear.

Based on real-world field data and after evaluation of ASPE (American Society of Plumbing Engineers) and prevailing sizing methodologies, Intellihot has developed a calculator to “right size” the capacity needed per application. This capacity is then broken into multiple units to result in a system that has excellent performance under varying loads while simultaneously leapfrogging reliability and energy savings. When right-sized, storage can be eliminated entirely.

Since a majority of hot water applications have varying demands throughout the day, it is implicit that the hot water equipment operates over a wider firing range. If this range is restricted, as is the case with typical boilers, a storage tank has to be incorporated to overcome this deficiency. Both storage tanks and short cycling have a dramatic effect (estimated to be 40%) on gas consumption.

Certain applications have a significant number of on/off operations inherent in their business. Full-service restaurants in particular are more prone to cycles (one million cycles in nine months) than hotels or multifamily dwellings. Furthermore, if the intended solution for any application is to be “on-demand,” then that in itself introduces cycles. Hence any heat exchanger must be fundamentally designed to handle these cycles. Intellihot uses a single-finned tube that is fully floating, thus allowing for expansion/contraction as well for extreme thermal shocks that occur when directly feeding in cold water (no storage employed).

Human skin is an excellent detector of variations in temperature, typically five to seven degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, for “on-demand” hot water, it is essential to maintain temperature variations within this band for anticipated fluctuations in flow. Intellihot uses a combination of temperature sensors and measured flow rate, along with dynamic mathematical model-based controls, to achieve precise temperature control, rapid response, and stability.

These are just some of the ingredients that make Intellihot heaters so reliable, efficient, and unique!