1: Municipal water feed 2: Fluid from water storage tank to external (passive) heat source; passive heat source can be the ground (soil or groundwater), sun or air via heat pump, or thermodynamic solar panel 3: Fluid from heat pump, or thermodynamic solar panel to water storage tank 4: Pump, actuator, controller and other parts 5: Water heater 6: Water storage tank 7: Hot water to domestic appliances Water heating is a heat transfer process that uses an energy source to heat water above its initial temperature.
Typical domestic uses of hot water include cooking, cleaning, bathing, and space heating.
Typical sizes for household use range from 75 to 400 liters (20 to 100 US gallons).
These may use electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil, solar, or other energy sources.
Generally the consumer has no in-building backup system, due to the expected high availability of district heating systems.
Hot water used for space heating may be heated by fossil fuels in a boiler, while potable water may be heated in a separate appliance.
District heating systems supply energy for water heating and space heating from combined heat and power (CHP) plants, waste heat from industries, incinerators, geothermal heating, and central solar heating.
Compared to tankless heaters, storage water heaters have the advantage of using energy (gas or electricity) at a relatively slow rate, storing the heat for later use.This is common practice in the US, especially when warm-air space heating is usually employed.In household and commercial usage, most North American and Southern Asian water heaters are the tank type, also called storage water heaters, these consist of a cylindrical vessel or container that keeps water continuously hot and ready to use.Some models offer "High Efficiency and Ultra Low NOx" emissions.This is a popular arrangement where higher flow rates are required for limited periods, water is heated in a pressure vessel that can withstand a hydrostatic pressure close to that of the incoming mains supply.
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In North America, these vessels are called hot water tanks, and may incorporate an electrical resistance heater, a heat pump, or a gas or oil burner that heats water directly.