Hybrid water heater delivers best of both worlds

Boiler and water heater manufacturer Lochinvar has launched the EcoCharger ‘Hybrid’ range of water heaters.

This innovative product provides the end user with a closely integrated combination of solar thermal and conventional gas-fired water heating that minimises fossil fuel use and achieves very high operating efficiencies (96% gross) and low NOx emission levels (Class 5).

The HWH and HWHC hybrid units work with the company’s high efficiency LSP20+  flat plate  collectors  to provide a highly efficient integrated gas-fired and renewable energy water heating system.  All models include a built in solar control to maximise the available solar energy and the gas burner only fires if the solar energy cannot keep up with the hot water demand.

There are seven models in the HWH range which can provide hot water recovery from 540 to 2,100 litres per hour. The HWH models are designed to work in conjunction with pre-heat storage vessels and storage capacities ranging from 300 to 2,850 litres are available.

HWHC Hybrid models incorporate an internal coil which removes the requirement for a separate pre-heat storage vessel and these are particularly suitable for solar installations of up to eight square metres. There are two HWHC models available providing hot water recovery of 740 and 1,100 litres per hour respectively, and these units also offer significant benefits where plant room space is limited.

All HWH and HWHC models incorporate controls which allow the energy gain from the solar array to take priority ensuring that the end user gets maximum benefit from the solar thermal installation.

A number of ancillary options are available including HeatPak, which enables the Hybrid range to provide a space heating load of up to 40Kw. Other options include a BMS Interface and Solar Remote Display.

“Many of the performance claims for solar thermal systems are based on theoretical operating conditions, but this hybrid approach allows us to match actual demand to delivery,” said Lochinvar managing director David Pepper.

“By ensuring that the solar thermal array always takes the lead, it is now possible to provide the best of both worlds achieving maximum efficiency from the renewable energy while ensuring that a reliable supply of hot water is achieved by integrating with gas-fired condensing technology.”