The Hot Water Association - a message to specifiers In the past few decades we have become the Impatient Nation. The demand to ‘have it now’ is seeping into every corner of our lives. We want quick answers to complex problems, we speed date, eat fast food, use self-checkout lines, try the “30 day Abs” challenge, pay extra for overnight shipping, beep when the traffic lights turns green, speak in half sentences. Start things but don’t fin... We twitter stories in 140 characters or less. We cut corners, take shortcuts. We txt. We’ve even become impatient with ... wait for it ... impatience. So how do we meet the impatient hot water demands of today’s household? How do we ensure both bath and en suite shower can run simultaneously, and the impatient nation can go about their day without having to………………………………wait? Fortunately advancements in technology mean we can. Why? In recent years there has been a significant shift in demand for hot water cylinders, as trends for hot water requirements have changed in line with modern lifestyles. In fact, 80 per cent of house buyers have been found to consider the number of bathrooms to be a significant factor in choosing a home. Furthermore, a typical buyer looks for at least two bathrooms for every 3 bedrooms, with just over a third considering it essential to have an en-suite for every bedroom. 96 SPECIFIERS JOURNAL All this spells growth for the hot water cylinder market, as hot water cylinders are able to meet high levels of hot water demand. By installing a hot water cylinder, a homeowner can look forward to high pressure showers and fast filling baths, a perfect solution for the hurried household. Unvented units work directly from the mains supply of water, meaning that providing the incoming mains pressure is sufficient (which in the vast majority it is), hot water can be delivered quickly, via more than one outlet. Many people remain under the impression that hot water storage tanks mean that they will run out of hot water, and therefore have to wait for the tank to heat up. If the tank is sized correctly according to the needs of the household, this should not happen. Obviously larger houses will have larger tanks. When selecting the size of the hot water tank, a simple rule of thumb is that for a typical domestic household, you Isaac Occhipinti, External Affairs manager, the Hot Water Association should allow between 35 and 45 litres for every occupant. That said a mains pressure system can use about 18 litres of water per minute at 40 degrees Celsius if a decent quality shower head is used. Certain brands of shower can use up to 25 litres of water per minute. A typical four person household would often use around 200 litres of hot water a day and this is the figure that will generally be used under the new EU energy labelling scheme. This does not necessarily mean that a 200 litre tank is required as dependent on the heating system the tank may be partially reheated during the day. It is up to the installer to match the correct size of tank relative to boiler (or electrical) input to avoid running out of hot water.
Future proofing So we have established that the hot water industry can meet the needs of today’s household, now let’s look at how they also meet the needs of tomorrows. With renewable energy heating sources receiving consumer buy in and Government encouragement via schemes like the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). It is clear that Renewable technology is here to stay. Renewables partnered with hot water storage is the only practical solution to turning the energy produced into something useful, and banking it for when it needs to be used. Hot water storage tanks are the perfect companion for renewable energy sources, which can be inflexible in terms of their energy supply. You are often at the hands of the weather (e.g. solar thermal and air source heat pumps); hot water tanks can heat the water when the renewable source is generating energy; store it, for use when it is needed. The features of hot water storage tanks, which are purposely designed for use with renewables, allow maximum heat transfer of renewable energy into the stored water. Acting as the heart of an alternative energy system, there are tanks designed for use with one energy source available; as well as products which can take input from multiple heat sources; including solar panels, biomass, heat pumps and other heat sources. In addition there are now also products available which come pre-wired and pre-plumbed to save on installation time; taking on the technology industries phrase of ‘Plug and Play’. Products with single coils for use with one heat source, and twin coils for dual heat source, or plate to plate heat exchangers are also available. HWA’s message to specifiers Space in UK homes today is at a premium. Many new build properties aren’t constructed with adequate space or supportive infrastructure, such as plumbing and joists to install even a small hot water cylinder. On this basis, any retrofit work could prove both difficult and expensive. The HWA ask that specifiers and architects consider the hot water needs of the future householders when designing the property specification. An informed decision on property design and heating and hot water systems could attract a higher premium for the property. A property which has provision for future technologies will be more attractive to a potential buyer than one without. Hot water storage tanks are an efficient and environmentally friendly way of providing domestic hot water and cutting energy bills. They are also perfect for meeting the impatient demands of today’s households; of multiple instant results, leaving them free to identify other ways in which to hurry. As ever, HWA members will be pleased to offer advice on best practice. You can find member details ‘quickly’ on the HWA website www.hotwater.org.uk The Hot Water Association, (HWA), is a dynamic and forward focussed trade association, with a history going back over a 100 years. The HWA represent the hot water storage industry, within the larger umbrella of the Energies and Utilities Alliance (EUA), providing a collective voice across the industry, within both UK Government and European Parliament. For further information contact Laurah on 01926 513743 or email email@example.com www.eua.org.uk www.hotwater.org.uk SPECIFIERS JOURNAL 97