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water heater

  • About Solar Water Heating System Technology

    solar water heater hawaiiIn a nutshell, solar water heating collectors capture and retain heat from the sun then transfer this heat to liquid water. Solar thermal heat is trapped using the "greenhouse effect," which utilizes the ability of a reflective surface to transmit short wave radiation and reflect long wave radiation. Heat and infrared radiation (IR) are produced when short wave radiation light hits a collector's absorber, which is then trapped inside the collector. Fluid, usually water, in contact with the absorber collects the trapped heat to transfer it to storage.

    Two principles govern solar thermal collectors. First, any hot object eventually looses its heat back to the environment. The efficiency of a solar thermal collector is directly related to heat loss, mainly from convection and radiation. Thermal insulation is used to slow down heat loss from a hot object to its environment.

    Second, heat loss is more rapid if the temperature difference between a hot object and its environment is larger, in this case between the temperature of the collector surface and the ambient temperature. (But the same goes for transferring heat from the collector to the fluid, a larger difference between the collector and the liquid, the more heat is transferred.)

    The most basic approach to solar heating of water is to simply put a tank filled with water into the sun. The heat from the sun would heat the metal tank and the water inside. This was how the very first SWH systems worked more than a century ago. However, this setup would be inefficient because there is little to limit the heat loss from the tank. Adding an insulated box around the tank, and adding glass above the top where the sun comes in would do a lot to retain heat.

    A more common collector is called a flat plate collector. It has a large, flat surface area (absorber) to maximize exposure to the sun, and has small tubes bonded to it. Fluid runs through the tubes, collecting the heat from the absorber. The sides and bottom of the collector are well-insulated, and glass on top completes the insulation.

    This is quite simple, but there are some very technical factors involved in making the collector as efficient as possible. One is the coating on the absorber, which is specially formulated to both absorb as much heat as possible, and to radiate back out as little heat as possible. Another is the glass, which is high-iron and specially coated to let as much light energy as possible through and to also prevent as much heat loss as possible.

    Another popular type of collector is called evacuated tube, which has a long, skinny absorber that is inside a glass tube. The tube has the air evacuated out of it, which makes it highly insulated—not too different from a thermos used to keep drinks hot.

    The final type of collector is a parabolic dish or tray, which increases heat potential by concentrating sunlight onto a small absorber. These are very rare in home water heating systems, and more commonly used in utility-scale systems to create steam which runs turbines to make electricity.

    The basic components in home solar heating systems include:

    • Collectors to take the heat from the sun and pass it to a fluid
    • The heat transfer fluid which takes the heat from the collector for use or storage
    • Heat exchangers to transfer the heat from the fluid to a home's domestic water.
    • Pumps to move the fluid through the collector and/or the exchanger, and sometimes to move the domestic water through the other side of the exchanger.
    • Controllers to run the pumps when there is collector heat available.
  • About Us

    Honolulu's Plumbing Service Experts

    Kama'aina Plumbing is a full service Hawaii plumbing company dedicated to serving all of Oahu's plumbing and remodeling needs with honest, prompt, professional and dependable service. If you want it fixed and installed right the first time then call Kama'aina Plumbing!

    Like our motto states, there is "No Job Too Large or Too Small." Whether you're in need of a full residential installation or simply need to fix a leak, a certified Kama'aina plumber will be there to help. We also run a responsive 24-hour Emergency Service that covers the entire Island of Oahu. 

    We specialize in heat pump installations, solar water heater, residential remodeling, commercial construction and remodeling, bathroom remodeling, tiki torch installation and many other plumbing services.

    Kama'aina Plumbing is a locally owned company motivated to provide its Hawaii plumbing customers with superior quality and outstanding customer service. With more than 37 years of experience in the industry, Kama'aina Plumbing is committed to serving Hawaii's commercial and residential plumbing customers. We are proud to retain an impeccable record with the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii. Contact us to learn more about our Honolulu Plumbing Services.

    Learn more about our sister companies: Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control and Kamaaina Solar Solutions

  • Accelera 300 Heat Pump

    Hawaii Accelera-300-heat-pump-water-heaterThe Accelera 300 Heat Pump is an air-source heat pump and qualifies for both the HECO Energy Star rebate and the Federal Renewable Energy Rebate. 

    Key Features of the Accelera 300

    • The only heat pump water heater that's not a hybird
    • 80 gallon storage capacity
    • Reduces hot water costs by up to 80%
    • Cools and dehumidifies the air around it
    • Removable sacrificial anode with wear indicator
    • Reliable German technology & manufacturing backed by a 10 year warranty

    Learn more about Heat Pump Technology

  • Heat Pump Installation

    Installing a heat pump in Hawaii can significantly reduce your utility bill by replacing your air conditioner / central air unit. While the initial cost of installation may seem prohibitive, a heat pump will save you significant money in energy costs over time. Kama'aina plumbing recommends the Accelera 300 and the Geo Springs Heat Pumps. 

    What Size Heat Pump Do You Need?

    geo-spring-heat-pump-jThe size or total square footage of your home will largely determine the size of the heat pump you need. The larger the heat pump, the more expensive your utility bill. It's as simple as that. 

    What Type Of Heat Pump Do You Need?

    In Hawaii, heat pump installers typically recommend air-source heat pumps as they are optimal in warm climates. When properly installed, they can deliver up to three times more energy to your home than the energy it consumes. Geothermal, while gaining interest, is only currently installed on the big island of Hawaii.  Air-source heat pumps pull air from the homes exterior, while geothermal heat pumps draw heat from the ground. 

    While Geothermal heat pumps are more expensive to install, maintenance is less as they are installed underground and largely removed from the elements. Furthermore, they use much less energy than other heating systems and are very efficient at cooling homes. This of course saves money and energy and reduces air pollution. 

    Air-source heat pumps are cheaper to install, but perform better in cold to mild temperature climates.

    Cost of Installing a Heat Pump

    With both state and federal tax rebates, installing an air-source heat pump has never been more economical. Because heat pumps can experience problems such as a leaky ducts, low airflow, and incorrect refrigerant charge, make sure your heat pump installer is a trusted installer. 

    Hawaii Heat Pump Tax Credit

    Installing an energy-efficient heating and cooling system may qualify you for several Federal Tax Credits. There are also tax rebates available for using renewable systems, such as the Geothermal System. Currently there are a HECO Energy Star Rebate and a Federal Tax Credit offered. Make sure you ask Kama'aina Plumbing about heat pump tax credits to reduce your heat pump installation. 

    Kama'aina Plumbing is Hawaii's leading authority on Heat Pump Installation. Contact us today to learn more about Installing Heat Pumps in Hawaii
    Learn more about Heat Pump Technology.