If you use a centralized water heating system, you probably turn the tap and wait a few seconds before any hot water comes out of your sink or shower. Those few seconds seem innocuous enough, but they add up: centralized heating systems waste around 20% of the water they heat every day. That translates into a substantial drain on both the environment and your wallet, wasting energy and water while driving your monthly bills up. After years of development, Charleston-based ISI Technology has a solution: The Heatworks MODEL 1, the world’s first digital tankless water heater.
Rather than using conventional heating elements like other water heating systems, the Heatworks MODEL 1 uses a current of electricity. With graphite electrodes and electronic controls, the MODEL 1 is able to heat water instantly, reducing your energy consumption and wait time for hot water. When you waste less, you spend less: the MODEL 1 reduces up to 40% of energy usage and 10% of water usage.
Aside from improving efficiency, the Heatworks technology also addresses issues of reliability, maintenance, life span, and storage space. Water heaters that use convection technology have parts that reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit to heat the water, making them more prone to breaking down. By using water’s natural resistance instead, the MODEL 1 eliminates the need for those archaic super-heated parts. The Heatworks technology also eliminates scaling and mineral buildup – a common problem with tankless water heaters – and does not require any annual maintenance.
At roughly the size of a football, the MODEL 1 is a compact, space-saving solution. And at $475, it’s designed to outlive the typical 8-12 year lifespan of its competitors.
For those interested in home automation, the MODEL 1 will bring your water heater into the digital age. With Wi-Fi compatibility coming soon, users will be able to easily monitor and control temperatures from their smartphone, wearable or computer. Returning to the office after the holidays? Visiting a vacation home after a month away? You can use the Heatworks mobile app to make sure the hot water is ready when you arrive.
The Heatworks app for the Apple Watch will give you instant access to Water Heaters, Presets, Reports, Locations, Alerts and more:
The installation process for the MODEL 1 is simple enough to do on your own, and you can use the product to either improve your current water heating system, or replace it entirely. To get a sense of how it looks and works, you can watch a short video about how Green By 3 uses Heatworks:
A HEATWORKS HISTORY
When Jerry Callahan couldn’t get hot water to his outdoor shower, he realized that the only available solutions were archaic water heating systems whose technology had hardly been updated since the 1800s. As the co-founder of Blue Rhino, the world’s leading propane cylinder exchange company, Callahan was familiar with applying innovative solutions to everyday technical problems.
“The problem is that other options out there are unreliable. They have poor temperature control and the model selection is very confusing, so the end user does not end up with the product they want. I decided to come up with a better solution,” says Callahan.
So he founded ISI Technology and set out to create a product that would approach water heating in a completely new way. What started as two pieces of plexiglass and some electrodes wired to an outlet slowly evolved into a more complex and visually pleasing real-world product. ISI Technology became an SC Launch company in 2012 and continued perfecting their product until 2014. After several iterations to accommodate technical and internal requirements, they finalized the design: a compact 12.5 inches by 6.5 inches.
The company launched a Kickstarter campaign at the beginning of 2014, setting their goal at $125,000. Within a few months, they had raised over $400,000 and have since won the South Carolina InnoVision Award and been accepted into the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program in Seattle. As their vision continues to quickly grow and gain traction, ISI Technology remains dedicated to working with the local companies and individuals, sourcing as much talent, resources, and manufacturers as possible from within the South Carolina tech community.
GET YOUR OWN
If you’re tired of waiting for your shower to heat up every morning, want to get rid of that ugly water tank in your garage, or want to make your home a little more sustainable: head over to our HeatSweeps giveaway for a chance to win a MODEL 1 for free. Start saving some energy, water, and money this winter.