With the winters nearing are you planning to buy a new geyser or replace that old dilapidated one? Then you might be surely puzzled with the various geyser parameters like type, size and most importantly the technology. Worry not, as you are not the only one; there are others like you who are clueless about the geyser technology. In this article, we will decode the new and important technology, presently found in the contemporary geysers and brief you about the type of water heaters.
Water Heater Classification
Basics first. There exists a medley of water heaters to target a wide spectrum of customers. Starting from the very basic and cheap immersion type heaters to the premium smart heaters, a variety of geyser are offered by the manufacturers. They are systematically classified and briefed as follows:
- Immersion-type heaters: This is a very rudimentary class of heater. It consists of a metallic heating element connected to the cable which needs to be connected to the main supply for its operation. As its obvious from its construction in contains no storage tank. Companies like Bajaj and Crompton offers this kind of rudimentary heaters.
- Instant heaters (electric): This is one of the popular but also a frugal choice of heater for the individual users or smaller families. Instant water heaters, as the name suggests, are designed to deliver warm water instantly. Having a minimal storage capacity (around 1 to 5 litres), they can heat up the water quite fast.
- Storage heaters (electric): This is the most popular choice of heater for the big families or households needing a larger volume of heated water. All the manufacturers produce this type of heater with capacity ranging from 10 litres all the way up to 100 litres. Reputed brands like AO Smith and Racold offer up to 7 years of warranty on the inner tank of storage heaters.
- Gas heaters: Though the conventional water heaters (mentioned above) operate on electricity, manufacturers have come up with a new class of heaters which makes use of the compressed gas to heat up the water. These are gas water heaters. They are further of two types: PNG gas heaters and LPG gas heaters. Also, note that most of the gas heaters are generally instant water heaters with lesser storage capacity but quicker heating. They are much more cost-effective compared to electric geysers.
- Solar heaters: In this age of spiralling cost of electricity, manufacturers like Venus and Racold have come up an energy-efficient alternative to ordinary geysers in the form of solar water heaters. They offer a different set of solar heaters for household and commercial purpose which harnesses energy from the sun instead of using electricity to heat the water.
- Solar & Pump heaters: Solar and pump heaters is the commercial-class hybrid heater developed by Venus to provide large volumes of water 24×7. It comprises of dual combination—a solar heater and a pump heater. Solar energy can be harness during the sunny day to serve the heating requirement. But in the evenings or in the rainy season, water is heated using a water pump. It ensures an uninterrupted flow of hot water in an efficient manner.
- Air2heat heaters: AO Smith’s Air2Heat heater is the new and promising concept heater that generates heat from the environment. It uses electricity to transfer heat from one part to another instead of using it to heat the water directly. Air2Heat heaters work like a refrigerator in reverse order. They are designed to save up to 60% of electricity compared to the ordinary heaters but are expensive.
Latest Water Heater Technology
The water heater is an important household need and makers of it are constantly improving the technology which is used to improve the heating performance and its efficiency. Considering the demand for smart and green appliances from the consumers, manufacturers toil hard with the design and innovate the water heater to serve the best needs of the customers. Heaters like solar & pump heater and Air2Heat heater are the result of that. So, let’s explore the latest technology that geyser manufacturers are using in their heating element, tank, design and ensuring the protection.
Coating Technology used in the Heater to Combat the Corrosion
The storage tank in the water heater is meant to store the warm water for some time (may range from a few minutes to few hours depending on the usage), it is bound to get corroded in due course of time. To avoid corrosion, the inner surface of the storage tanks is coated with a layer of an anti-corrosive material which prevents the surface from getting corroded, even when it is in contact with warm water.
Different brands market their products differently. Though the coating material and mechanism is more or less the same, manufacturers generally use a different name for it. Here is a list of what different coating technology manufacturers are using in their heater (or rather term they are using to market their geysers):
- Glassline Coating: The Bajaj water heaters battles corrosion by employing glassline inner tank. During the process, the glass powders are first applied onto the metal and then heated in a furnace, which leads to the formation of a glass coating on the surface. It is a very effective technique providing tremendous resistance to corrosion.
- Porcelain Enamel Coating: To protect the inner tank from rust and corrosion, Venus uses dry powder porcelain enamelling. This is done at very high temperature (around 850oC) to create robust vitreous enamel layer. Moreover, this European technology is approved by reputed organizations like BIS, IEC, DIN, UL.
- Titanium Enamel Coating: Racold is one of the few manufacturers to use titanium enamel technology in its premium storage heaters. In this coating style, the inner container of the heater is coated with Super Polymer High Performance (SPHP) coating which helps the heater combat corrosion occurring out of hard water.
- Blue Diamond Glass Coating: To counter scale, sediment, residue build up on the surface of the heater tank over time due to the hard water, AO Smith geysers uses blue diamond glass coating in its new series of geysers. AO Smith holds the patent for this technology.
- Nano Coating with Single Weld Line: Modern storage heaters from Crompton come with the nano-coated inner tank to safeguard the geyser from rusting. Also, geyser’s tank is designed with single weld line which helps in minimizing the leakage by up to 66% compared to ordinary geysers.
Smart Geysers – Heaters with Digital Display and Remote/App Control for the Smart Generation
Lifestyles are changing and homes are becoming modern and contemporary. As consumers are becoming more discerning in their choice, Geysers have always been one of the crucial home appliance. In this age of digital revolution with ubiquitous smart devices, water heaters need a facelift through innovation. Following this ubiquitous demand for “smart functionality” from the tech-savvy consumers, brands like Racold, AO Smith, Havells etc have come up with remote and app controlling features embedded in the geysers.
Adonia series of storage water heater from Havells come with patented color-changing LED display panel. This aesthetically pleasing LED indicator which is one of its kind. It not only allows to adjust and display the temperature of the heater but also changes colour from blue to amber as the water heats from cold to hot. Havells has patented this LED colour changing display, which means you’ll only see this feature exclusively in Havells water heaters. Digital temperature display is without the usual temperature display found in ordinary heaters, making it unique and is simply controlled with a feather touch.
Flagship Havells geyser, Adonia i, is one of the smartest geyser around which can directly controlled with the mobile app. It comes with a Wi-Fi connectivity and a dedicated app control that lets the user seamlessly control the geyser even without visiting the bathroom. One of the really useful feature about this model that it is enabled with Wi-Fi Direct feature which let’s you control your geyser even if there is no active Wi-Fi connection at your home. Another interesting feature it let’s you schedule your warm bath. You can specify duration for which you want your geyser to be turned on and also set the desired temperature for water heating.
Similarly Racold’s latest premium series Omnis is also Wi-Fi enabled water heater equipped with smart control technology. With smart control technology users can enjoy controlling ease, bath personalization and decent energy saving thanks to WiFi connectivity which completely transforms the bathing experience. WiFi connectivity coming in the Omnis models makes it extremely easy to control the geyser with a specialized app. Users can set the heating between 40 degree Celsius to 80 degree Celsius. They can also instruct the geyser if they are planning for a bucket bath or a shower bath and the geyser will cool accordingly. Racold app also allows user to schedule the bath which makes bathing a very systematic routine. The feature we liked the most as energy saving enthusiast is that the app gives complete account of geyser usage and helps to track electricity units consumed by it.
Premium storage heaters like Lyra Smart from Venus boast of the multi-function smart digital display which is not only aesthetically appealing but also armed with loads of controls and functionalities. It gives a visual indication of the temperature and host couple of programming options like morning shower and evening shower programs. Then there is a smart ring which vividly changes colour to indicate hotness of the water and show if it’s ready for usage. The good thing is it comes with a wireless remote control. So, users can simply control their geyser with the press of the button.
Air2Heat model—a concept heater from AO Smith which we briefed you with earlier, comes with a built-in digital display to succinctly show the key parameters. These includes:
- Hot Water Quantity
- Power Off Memory
They also come with a smart Adaptive Energy Saving (AES) feature which analyzes user’s water heating usage patterns and adopts the heating cycles as per user’s habit based on the observation. To simplify, suppose a user takes a warm shower for 10 mins every day around 7:00 am in the morning, an Air2Heat heater using its AES feature would study and adapt itself to heat the requisite amount of water few minutes before 7:00 am. So, when the user enters the bathroom, his geyser is ready to please him with a warm shower of water. That too without making him wait. Users also have the option to undo this by selecting Override key which would then immediately start heating water to the preset temperature.
Though the Bajaj heaters lack the state-of-the-art app control functionality, models like Flora and Majesty comes with a tempting neon indicator that gives the status of water heating and readiness on the display panel.
Advanced and Solid Protection from Any Mishap
Modern heaters from different manufacturers are shielded with tangible protective measures. These are elaborated as follows:
- Fuse/Circuit Breakers: Modern Crompton heaters comes with a fusible plug which would blow itself completely shutting the passage of current to the heater if current overshoots the permissible limits. The Havells water heaters alternately use ELCB (earth leakage circuit breaker) for this purpose. ELCB makes sure that the power supply is cut off immediately to the heater in case if any leakage of current is detected. This ensures protection from electrocution.
- Child Lock: All new gas heaters from Bajaj come with astutely designed child lock feature which prohibits kids and toddlers from turning on the gas supply.
- Digital Thermostat: AO Smith heaters are armed with a digital thermostat that monitors the water temperature. If the temperature exceeds the permissible level, it cuts off the power supply to assure safety.
- Anti-freeze: Bajaj geysers comes with anti-freeze additives which decreases the freezing point of water so that during winters water don’t turn into ice in case if geyser is not used for a long time. Also, it increases the boiling point of water so at higher temperature water don’t escape in the form of vapours.
- Silver Ion: Anode of modern storage geysers from Racold is equipped with Silver-ion technology which inhibits proliferation of harmful bacteria dwelling in the water. Thus Silver-ion technology ensures healthy and clean bath by killing over 99% of bacteria.
- IPX4 Protection: Modern electric geysers from Havells are protected with Pentashield technology. IPX4 is a part of Pentashield technology which safeguards electrical parts from water spills and splashes.
- Flame failure Protection: This feature is used to prevent the buildup of large amounts of gas in case the pilot system goes out in gas heaters from Bajaj, Racold and Havells. This is done through the arrangement of thermocouple, coil, and valve. Also, new gas heaters come with a default timer of around 15-20 minutes. The timer would automatically cut off the gas if it’s not used for this interval.
- Fire-retardant Cable: Bajaj geysers comes with a fire-retardant cable which resists combustion and restricts propagation of flames in case of fire.
- Pressure Valve: Most of the new geysers from different manufacturers come with the safety valve to avert the high pressure from damaging the geyser. The valve is designed to automatically relieve pressure and discharge water if the pressure overshoots the predefined limits.
Other Miscellaneous Water Heating Technology
Apart from the smart features which premium geysers boast of or the gamut of protective technology that different manufacturers embed in geysers, there are few other miscellaneous technologies worth considering. One of such technology is Whirlflow technology by Havells.
Havells electric water heaters make use of Whirlflow technology that prevents the mixing of cold water supplied from the main tank and hot water generated by heating from the geyser. This makes the hot water flow faster and improves energy saving roughly around 20%.
Geysers from the manufacturers like Bajaj, Racold, AO Smith come with Poly-urethane-foam (PUF) injected into the heater so that heat from the water is not dissipated easily. This helps to minimize the standing loss of the heater. Polyurethane is one of the subtypes of polymer class with an excellent insulating property. It finds wide industrial application in the field of automobiles, packaging, bedding etc. It’s worth noting that it is moulded inside the car seat to prevent engine’s heat to reach the seat. Thus, the cellular structure of PUF injected inside the tank of the geyser helps to keep the water in a heated state for a prolonged period.
Owning a water heater was once considered to be an epitome of luxury. But that credo is slowly changing. Bigwigs of the water heating industry have started penetrating deeper into the Indian markets by setting up retail outlets and service centres even in the remote towns. They are relentless in creating awareness for the consumers, adumbrating about the benefits of owning a geyser for water heating purpose compared to conventional means like a gas stove, kerosene stove or even immersion rods for that matter. According to some analyst, the market size of water heaters is around 1,500 crores and the industry has been witnessing double-digit growth for a few years now. This is indicative that the consumers are fast switching over to or upgrading their geysers. Manufacturers are coming up with greener and efficient alternatives to water heating in the form of solar heaters, pump heaters, Air2Heat, gas heaters etc. Consumers are being spoilt for choices as there is a wide gamut of water heaters available in the market. Hope through this article we could demystify the advanced contemporary technology used in the water heaters and you would make a smart choice while buying your next water heater.
About the Author:
Hussain Kanchwala is an Electronics Engineer from University of Mumbai. As an Analyst at BijliBachao he keeps a tab on latest technologies in gadgets and appliances, tracks businesses of white goods companies and monitors the consumer behavior. With a background in engineering, penchant for detail, and flair for writing he regularly write reviews about brands and their products. More from this author.