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  • California wants to replace millions of gas water heaters with high-tech electric ones to serve as “thermal batteries” for storing solar and wind energy

    Published on November 3, 2021

     Earth is our home and it is falling slowly into ashes due to rapid climate change. It is a reality but every one of us needs to play our role to reduce carbon footprint to save our only home in the universe. The atmosphere’s temperature is increasing due to pollution and the greenhouse effect. To reduce pollution and the greenhouse effect, we need to get rid of our dependency on fossil fuels because it is one of the major causes of environmental pollution and carbon footprint.

    Thanks to governments, institutions, world agencies, and local authorities who are taking strict measures to reduce the use of fossil fuel and other elements that are causing climate change. Speaking of which, governments and local authorities are looking for renewable and sustainable energy resources like solar energy and wind energy. Plus, authorities are also taking active measures to spread awareness in people to change their lifestyle and move towards renewable and environmentally friendly practices. EVs and subsidies on them are just one example.

    To reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the local authorities of California are convincing residents to move towards electric water heaters rather than gas water heaters. High-tech electric water heaters particularly heat-pump water heaters can work as thermal batteries, storing excess production from wind and solar generators. The California authorities aim to install heat-pump water heaters instead of millions of gas water heaters throughout the state.

    That would reduce the need to fire up polluting fossil fuel power plants to supply electricity for water heating.  According to a study, just in California, water heating is one of the largest consumers of fossil fuels and gas water heaters account for 91% of this consumption. According to waterheaterpicks.com Replacing gas water heaters with heat pump versions could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from water heating in the state by as much as 77.2%.

    The reason for such a focus on heat-pump water heaters is because these water heaters are up to four times as efficient as conventional gas or electric water heaters and produce zero pollution. Heat pump water heaters transfer warmth from the atmosphere to a tank. Thus, heat pump water heaters only use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly.

    That’s why they are three times more energy efficient even than traditional electric water heaters. A heat-pump water heater works like a refrigerator. There is a little difference, a refrigerator extracts heat from inside a box and discharges it to the environment of the refrigerator, on the other hand, a heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and dumps it at a higher temperature into a tank to heat water. When the renewable energy production reaches its maximum in the afternoon, a signal is sent which activates the heat pump water heaters.

    After heating the water, the devices turn off and store hot water for nighttime use when needed. This allows for the utilization of excess renewable energy produced during the day that would otherwise be wasted. Grid administrators can also charge these thermal batteries as needed to balance supply and demand or before a planned power outage due to fire threats or in anticipation of extreme weather conditions that could cause power outages.