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> 1,000 Words: Combi System Animations

Posted by Lester Shen  |  Date September 7, 2012  |  Comments 0

If ”a picture is worth 1,000 words,” then what is the value of an infographic, an animation, or a data visualization? The Innovation Exchange is developing methods to clarify complex energy concepts and provide technical information. With the help of designers, animators, and videographers, we will produce this content for the web. > 1,000 words will be a regular feature of i.e. showcasing our visualization efforts.

"The combi system animations are very useful and engaging tools. They will significantly improve our ability to explain and demonstrate the technology."

- Ben Schoenbauer, Research Engineer

CEE’s Ben Schoenbauer has been travelling around the country recently to share his work to improve the efficiency of domestic hot water systems. His current research project is evaluating the energy savings potential of integrated space and water heating systems, also known as dual integrated appliances (DIA) or combination systems (combi systems). He has been presenting this work to both researchers and practitioners. In support of his outreach, the Innovation Exchange created four animations to show how the parts of the various systems interface and to allow comparisons between them.

The first animation is a conventional hot water and space heating system where a tank storage water heater supplies domestic hot water and a forced air furnace provides space heating to the house.

The second animation shows a combi system where the tank storage hot water heater is used in combination with a hydronic air handler (hot water rather than hot combustion gases from burners circulates in the heat exchanger). The water heater supplies the hot water to the air handler to supply space heating to the house.

The third animation is a combi system where an instantaneous, or tankless, water heater has replaced the storage hot water heater. This combi system does not create the standby losses that would occur with a storage tank full of hot water.

The final animation shows a combi-system that uses a hydronic boiler rather than a domestic heater as the hot water source. 

We hope that these animations will improve your understanding of these systems, whether you’re an appliance expert or a homeowner investigating possible energy improvements. Feel free to link to or embed these videos from this blog post, our resource page, or our YouTube site.

The motion graphics animations were designed and produced by Huma Saqib.


Related Innovation Exchange project:

Retrofitting Integrated Space & Water Heating Systems

Related posts:

Residential Water Heater Calculator

ACEEE Hot Water Forum

DIA Lab Field Trip


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