What is Condensing Tankless Water Heaters?

April 28, 2017

Let's take a walk through tankless water heater territory. As the term implies, the design ousts its storage tank in favour of an advanced engineering solution. In its place, a heat exchanger and coiled pipes establish a thermal transaction effect. It's obviously an innovative design, one that increases operational efficiency. Condensing tankless water heaters further augment this operational principle, but how do they achieve this impressive engineering goal?

What is a Condensing Water Heater?

Everyone recognises a water heater when they see one. It's the boiling vessel that throws off wisps of hot steam. It's insulated to prevent such losses, yet they still manage to seep through tiny gaps. Tankless water heaters sidestep this issue by employing heat exchanger technology instead of a static storage vessel. As for the prefacing "condensing" descriptor, this added functionality extracts more thermal energy from the heating circuit by adding a secondary heat exchanger to the equipment. In effect, the condensate generated by the primary circuit is funneled into a thermal reclamation unit, which is where this secondary unit enters the process line.

Adding Heat Transference Components

A number of supplementary components act as system channels in this design. These are the metal manifolds and welded heat transfer tubes that encourage condensate conveyance. Without this mechanism, the primary heat exchanger would vent the state-changed vapour. The condensate assembly avoids venting by redirecting the evaporated leftovers into the secondary heat exchanger. The thermal reclaim then returns to the primary stream to elevate system performance. Still, the incorporation of a robust condensation unit isn't quite as easy as it sounds. Imagine an interior stage that's loaded with corrosive vapour, the type of gases that would cause metal fatigue in many treated steel assemblies. The rechanneled vent gases must be funnelled into the secondary heat exchanger, so special corrosion-proof alloys are required. A rust-resistant metal just won't satisfy the material design specs on this occasion, so a corrosion proof alloy must be installed.

A condensing tankless water heater elevates the performance of this already energy efficient design. The compact unit, freed from its loss-prone storage tank, introduces an extra heat exchanging stage. That supplementary unit then combines with specially mounted heat transference tubes to extract any remaining energy, the heat that would otherwise be vented as a condensation stream. Built to deliver a superior thermal transference rating, this equipment may require heat treated alloys to withstand the fatigue-inducing hot gases, but the recovered energy makes this long-term investment a worthy addition to any budget-conscious heating network.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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