About the Technology
It started with a simple problem.
It should have been easy: get hot water delivered to an outdoor shower. But in 2006, our founder and CEO Jerry Callahan found himself frustrated with the tankless electric water heaters that were on the market. They simply didn’t work. He figured if it was happening to him, then other people were probably having the same dilemma. After doing a ton of research and developing his own prototypes, he not only solved his initial problem, the technology he invented is changing the way the world heats water.
We've reinvented the way the world heats water.
For the last 100 years, electric water heaters have been designed with one fundamental flaw: they all use metal heating elements to heat the water. To heat a tank full of water, the relatively small heating element must get very hot. In some cases, up to 800° F. This causes rust and limescale to form on the surface of the element. Over time, “hot spots” develop, and the elements fail.
Here is what it looks like inside a two-year-old standard tank-type electric water heater:
Just think, the hot water you use to cook, shower and bathe in is stored inside a tank similar to this filled with sediment.
Though tankless electric water heaters instantly heat water as it flows through the device, they use this same archaic technology as tank-type units. The way we heat water is completely different.
We use water as the heating element.
Our patented technology uses graphite electrodes in place of traditional metal heating elements. Through electronic controls, the naturally occurring minerals in water are excited, producing heat as a byproduct of this process. Nothing in our units gets hotter than the water itself, resulting in zero scaling and corrosion over time, even if you have hard water or soft water. We call our water heating technique, Ohmic Array Technology. You'll call it amazing.
And, since we use water as the heating element, the hot water that comes from our units is purer than water from any other water heaters available today.
What is Ohmic Array Technology?
We get asked all the time how we are able to heat water without using metal coils or heating elements. Ohmic Array Technology heats water using electricity unlike any other water heater on the market. Here's how it works:
1. Water itself is an electrical conductor.
Instead of having elements that get really hot and then transfer the heat to the water, we actually pass electrical currents through the water itself. Using graphite electrodes and electronic controls, we increase the energy state of the water molecules, so they move faster. The faster they move, the more kinetic energy they have. This causes the molecules to begin to bounce off each other; that kinetic energy turns into heat. Through direct energy transfer, your water is heated instantly, within (+/-) 1 degree Fahrenheit of the temperature setpoint.
2. Water conductivity matters.
When using water as an electrical conductor to generate heat, the current through the water is directly proportional to the conductivity. So a 240 V system that was designed to draw 10 A of current in the cool mountain water of the Pacific Northwest would draw 1,000 A in the warm salty water on the coast of Florida. Ohmic Array Technology addresses this challenge by controlling the resistance of the water circuit, and the resulting power draw: with electrode width, height and separation. By changing these parameters dynamically as the conductivity of the water changes, the power of the system as a whole can be controlled.
3. Flexibility is key.
In a traditional electric heating element, only two possible states are possible: on and off. When the element turns on, there is lag time as it begins to heat up. Similarly, when its turned off, it takes time for the element to cool down. This type of system is inefficient and unreliable. In contrast, Ohmic Array Technology turns on and off instantly. There is no time lag since the water itself heats independent of the electrodes. More importantly, there are many more states than simply on and off. Each pair of electrodes can be controlled independently allowing the system to not only control heating activity, but also heating intensity.
- This allows for precise temperature control: the amount of heat generated in the water can be controlled very finely, even if the incoming water is already hot.
- The amount of current drawn by Ohmic Array Technology is variable and controllable, unlike a heating element whose power is fixed. This allows a single design to be used in a variety of applications and wiring arrangements.
Is Ohmic Array Technology safe?
Yes. Contrary to popular belief, the fresh water we use everyday for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc. is a rather poor conductor of electricity. For this reason, the electric current created with our Ohmic Array Technology for heating water poses no risk of electrocution to those using the water. As a second layer of protection, two non-heating, leakage electrodes are added to the Ohmic Array. These electrodes are positioned just next to the inlet and outlet pipes, and their only purpose is to “capture” leakage current. Any stray electrical potential is shunted directly to earth ground through them. Our family of water heaters are all tested and certified to UL 499 standard.
Our technology is patented.
We have spent a lot of time, money and resources developing our Ohmic Array Technology. It is covered by one or more US patents or certifications: 7,817,906,B2; 8,861,943,B2; 9,587,853,B2; as well as other foreign patents.