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DOE energy efficiency program forges ahead with fourth technology demonstration

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March 30, 1994 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Through a new U.S. Department of Energy program to reduce federal energy consumption, DOE's Pacific Northwest Laboratory has teamed with a U.S. manufacturer and four other organizations to test a new hot water conversion system that could cut household water heating costs by more than half.

PNL and DOE have partnered with Gas-Fired Products Inc. to document the energy cost savings gained through use of the company's new Seahorse Gas Hot Water Conversion System at Fort Stewart Army Base near Savannah, Georgia. To test the technology, a single-family residence at Fort Stewart has been retrofitted with the Seahorse unit, converting an existing electrically heated hot water system to a natural gas-heated system.

The Seahorse unit is the only commercially available gas-fired water heater system that works by converting existing electric hot water tanks, thus reducing retrofit, installation and equipment costs. In addition, the unit is expected to heat hot water three times faster than comparable electric units. With projected annual hot water savings estimated at approximately $77 per household, Fort Stewart energy savings could total more than $35,000 a year if the remaining 460 candidate homes eventually were converted.

The partnership marks the fourth demonstration of U.S. energy- efficient technologies since DOE's Federal Energy Management Program started the New Technology Demonstration Program in 1990. The program was developed to test and evaluate U.S.-manufactured, energy-efficient technologies at federal sites, providing first-hand performance data to support a more timely federal adoption process.

"These demonstrations are a win for everyone -- for U.S. manufacturers, it opens doors to new governmental markets previously difficult to reach, and for government and taxpayers, there is the potential to save significantly in energy costs," said Mark Ginsberg, director of the Federal Energy Management Program.

The unit will be tested for approximately six months, at which time data will be analyzed by PNL and made available to government and industry. The demonstration is managed through a cooperative research and development agreement. In addition to DOE, PNL and Gas-Fired Products Inc., CRADA partners include Fort Stewart Army Base, Atlanta Gas Light, the Public Service Company of North Carolina and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville, Alabama.


Tags: Energy, Energy Efficiency

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