Connected technologies have seemingly seeped right into the walls of todays “smart” home, with gadgets to control everything from lighting and electricity, to heating and air conditioning, to sprinklers and showerheads. But ISI Technology is targeting an even darker corner of the house: that cramped, dusty spot in the basement where your water heater lives.
The WiFi enabled Heatworks Model 1 tankless water heater can either replace or supplement most legacy water heating equipment. What makes it stand out is the way it heats up water. Where older designs rely on electric coils (like the heating elements in a toaster) or direct combustion (like a propane flame) to heat water indirectly, the Model 1 uses a technique known as “electrical resistance heating.”
As water flows through the Model 1, electrical current is passed through graphene electrodes that are in contact with the liquid. The water essentially completes the circuit, and its natural resistance to electrical current heats it up — almost instantaneously. The Model 1 keeps the temperature in check by sampling 60 times each second, so it’s able to keep the outflow to your sink or shower within a degree or so (Fahrenheit) of the set temperature.
The Model 1 only determines the maximum temperature that hot water will flow at, and for safety reasons it’s capped at 130 F. When you turn on a faucet, the combination of hot and cold taps will still allow the full range of temperatures up to that maximum setting.
No IoT-enabled appliance would be complete without a mobile app, of course. Though the Model 1 doesn’t invite as much constant interaction as other smart devices, the ability to change the heater’s settings without a trip to the basement should not be underestimated.
Because near-instantaneous heating eliminates that tedious period where the faucet’s set to hot but still pumping out cold water that’s been sitting in the pipes all day, the Model 1 cuts both energy and water consumption, which can be tracked through the app as well. The EPA estimates that water heaters account for around 20 percent of a home’s energy use, so any reductions there are welcome.
The Heatworks Model 1 is available for preorder at MyHeatworks.com. Learn more in the video below.
Related: Connected Home Devices