A tankless unit has a heating device that is activated by the flow of water when a hot water valve is opened. Once activated, the heater delivers a constant supply of hot water. The output of the heater limits the rate of the heated water flow. Tankless water heaters are available in both gas and electric-powered models.
Benefits and Considerations
Tankless water heaters offer many advantages to commercial and industrial customers. They heat water only as it is needed, eliminating the need to use energy by constantly heating a tank full of hot water. The typical tankless unit is also compact and can be wall mounted for space saving. Most are available in outdoor- as well as indoor-mounting configurations.
- No standing pilot as in traditional tank systems. Saves energy by operating only when needed.
- Compact, wall mounted unit saves space.
- Available in indoor or outdoor designs.
- Life expectancy of twenty years (up to twice as long as tank units).
- Replaceable parts can extend the life of the unit.
- High initial purchase price.
- In gas units, a higher BTU input may require a large gas supply.
- In electric models, a higher amperage may require a larger power supply.
- Replacement parts may not be readily available in certain areas.
Commercial and Industrial Uses
Demand water heater systems offer a wide variety of scenarios for commercial and industrial applications. For example, a restaurant may use hot water only at the end of the day for clean-up operations. A wall-mounted tankless unit could provide the hot water when needed while avoiding the cost of running a large tank system all day long, and also free up space for other critical operations.
Medium-sized hotels and motels will normally have long periods of low usage punctuated by periods of peak demand for hot water. Installing multiple tankless water heaters would provide a perfect energy savings opportunity. Other uses include laundry facilities in hospitals and nursing homes, showers in schools and campgrounds, restroom facilities in office buildings and college dormitories, and retail applications such as beauty/barber shops that require intermittent hot water capacity.
Demand water heaters offer solutions in many industrial applications as well. Among them:
- Heating of pure and deionized water.
- Emergency drench showers and eyewash stations.
- Providing hot water to remote locations with no hot water lines or infrastructure.
- Mobile facilities in mining, forestry, oil and gas industries, etc.
- Transportation industries (ships, railcars, aircraft).
Tankless water heaters can reduce energy use in specialized applications, avoiding the time and expense of supplying hot water lines from large boilers to distant locations. A wall-mounted unit near an eyewash station is a good example of a compact system that is able to supply warm water at a lower cost without taking up much space. Depending on the water heating requirements, tankless water heaters can be appropriate for a variety of applications to reduce energy costs.
*Information courtesy of Questline Tech Resources, Columbus, Ohio.