A new electric water heater that can be charged in minutes with a simple solar panel is the work of engineers from a small company in Canada.
The solar-powered water heater uses a small array of small, solar-charged micro-rotors to power the water pump and pumps.
It’s a low-powered, efficient water heater and one that uses little energy to power itself and is compact enough to be portable.
This design could be useful for home-use, or for industrial use.
“This was an idea we came up with about 10 years ago and it turned out to be a winner,” said Andrew MacLennan, an electrical engineer and lead author of the new paper.
“I was very impressed with the engineering.”
The new water heater, the Avanti, uses a large array of micro-air turbines to drive a water pump.
(Image: Andrew Maclennan)Micro-rotor water heater Avantis are low-cost, solar powered water heaters that have a small solar panel attached to each turbine.
The water is then charged through micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), which convert the solar energy into electrical current, which then travels to a small battery to be used in the water heater.
The Avantia’s solar panel provides about 2 watts of power, and each rotor is able to operate for about an hour, MacLenna says.
“When the water comes in, we can make it very efficient and it can run for up to a week,” MacLena said.
“We could potentially have this for $5 a day.
We have no idea how much it costs to run this in Canada.”
The water heater is powered by a small, micro-electric water pump that runs on solar energy.
(See a photo of the Aulti’s water pump.)
The micro-generator in each of the rotor blades uses a battery to supply the water to the water tank.
(The Avantios uses a solar-based micro-hydro turbine that has a small electrical charge.)
The solar panel also generates a small amount of electricity, enough to run the water pumps for about a week.
MacLannan said the micro-motors in the Aventi are powered by an “internal, compact, and low-profile battery” that runs for only a few minutes a day and only when the sun is shining.
That means the Aavis could be powered entirely by solar power, Mac Lenna says, or even a combination of solar and water power.
The microrotors also are able to be charged through a micro-thermal system, which uses electricity to generate heat.
The heat is then used to charge the microrotor.
“It’s the first time we’ve seen a microelectronic water heater powered by micro-energy,” Mac Lennan said.
The new design could have potential for the home as well.
The next step is to design a new version that uses a micro turbine and an array of large-scale micro-motorised water pumps to run both the water and the micro turbine, Mac McLenna said.