Rinnai (Peachtree City, Ga.) has seen a steady increase of propane tankless water heater use in the equestrian market as well as for dairy farms. Equestrian centers, often located in remote areas well-suited for propane, need hot water to bathe the horses. The temperature control that tankless water heaters provide is perfect for equestrian center use, explained James York, Rinnai vice president of engineering, unlike a storage tank model, where temperatures may go up or down as it reheats, or it loses heat depending on the amount of use.
Dairy farms are another good opportunity for propane marketers to grow gallons. A large volume of hot water is needed for washing the milking system, bulk tank, and parlor equipment. York said that many dairy farmers have switched to tankless water heaters because they can supply consistent temperature, are energy efficient to operate, and provide reliable and redundant operation, all of which are important to any dairy farm.
“These are rural places, with lots of pasture land, so they’re nearly always coupled with propane.” York noted that assisted living facilities and breweries are some of the newer areas also experiencing strong growth in propane tankless water heater use. The company recently installed tankless water heaters at an assisted living complex in North Carolina, and in 2013, BPN
highlighted Rinnai propane tankless water heater use at Bearwater Breweries in North Carolina. He added that his company has installed tankless water heaters at several additional breweries since then, “as word has gotten around the industry of what a great application tankless water heaters [are]. This is due to the precise temperature control and energy efficiency.”Many Tankless Products Help Grow Gallons In Multiple Applications
Rinnai has recently introduced several new products that will provide propane marketers the opportunity to grow gallons in the residential and commercial areas. The company has expanded its condensing tankless system offerings, and York explained that condensing tankless systems are more than 90% efficient with energy factors (EF) up to 0.96. The condensing appliances use the latent heat of exhaust to preheat incoming cold water, extracting the maximum amount of energy from the process. “We have recently added two smaller high-efficiency tankless models that are 130,000 Btu and 160,000 Btu. And we added another, the RUC90, which is at 180,000 Btu. So effectively we’ve got many different sizes of tankless water heaters that are all above 90% efficient in this condensing class. We have a full product portfolio…to cover small to big applications to make sure customers get exactly what they need.”
The new RUR series of tankless water heaters, which York described as its recirculation product, is easily adaptable to plumbing systems with or without a dedicated recirculation return line right out of the box. In the dedicated recirculation line mode, the integral pump circulates water from the tankless water heater through the hot water supply line and back to the tankless water heater via the dedicated return line. In crossover mode, the thermal bypass valve that comes standard with the water heater is installed between the hot and cold supply lines on the furthest fixture in the plumbing line from the tankless water heater. The cold water line is then used temporarily as the return portion of the circulation loop.
“This makes it extremely easy to retrofit and add recirculation to an existing home where you may not be able to add a dedicated return line.” He added that because only about 1% of homes have a dedicated return line, the RUR with the crossover valve will make “cost-effective recirculation available for nearly every home.”
Joe Holliday, senior director, product and new business development for Rinnai, went on to explain that recirculation is important, especially with the drought conditions in many areas of the country. “People are becoming very water conscious. So recirculation charges the loop — the piping system — with warm water. You don’t turn on the faucet and wait a few minutes while water is going down the drain. It’s warm water all the way there, and it recirculates back to the water heater.”
On the commercial side, Rinnai unveiled its C199 tankless water heater in August, sold individually or on Rinnai’s commercial rack system, which includes several water heaters on a prefabricated metal frame. Holliday noted the C199 can be installed using various types of venting, whether it’s PVC or concentric for single units or common venting for multiple units on the Tankless Rack System. The C199 comes equipped so a contractor can easily set up the water heater to produce 185°F water right out of the box. He described concentric as one pipe within another pipe, which allows the installer to have single penetration through the wall that has both intake air on the outer pipe and exhaust air on the inner pipe. Helping Young Campers Learn Healthy Life Skills
Campgrounds of all sizes and types are good prospects for propane marketers. They are typically in remote off-the-grid areas, and propane use at such a facility can add up quickly in the dining areas during mealtimes and in the bath houses, said James York.
Located on more than 400 acres in the farmlands of Georgia, Camp Southern Ground describes itself as “the passion project” of Grammy Award-winning artist Zac Brown. He is developing a camp to help children of all abilities to learn healthy life skills through programs promoting superior nutrition, physical exercise, and the latest practices in therapy. When campers arrive for the first time next summer at Camp Southern Ground, three commercial tankless water heaters from Rinnai on a Rinnai tankless rack system will provide hot water for the concessions area, restrooms, and shower facilities in the camp’s 12,000-sq-ft Shade and Play pavilion, which is currently under construction. Rinnai has donated the water heaters to the camp, which serves children ages 7 to 17.
The Shade and Play Pavilion will provide campers a place for recreational play shaded from the hot summer sun. The pavilion will include a multi-use court for basketball and other sports, a storage room, and a patio area for hosting cookouts and gatherings. The Shade and Play area, along with the camp’s 15-acre organic farm, will provide educational programs to teach campers about the importance of proper nutrition and the health benefits of growing and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Its commercial concessions kitchen and walk-in coolers will provide cleaning stations and storage areas when fruits and vegetables are harvested, and will support the camp’s farm-to-table approach to cooking.
The dining hall, which will also be equipped with Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters, will have the capacity to serve 450 campers at each meal time. The campground will have a full service dining center, coupled with mostly organic menus. The camp’s mission is to operate a camp to allow children to overcome academic, social, and emotional difficulties so they may reach their full potential and to provide the tools necessary to achieve excellence in all facets of their lives. Plans are in place for programs implementing the latest innovative therapies and technology for children with neurobehavioral disorders such as Asperger syndrome, Tourette syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders, as well as learning difficulties such as ADD/ADHD and dyslexia. Camp Southern Ground will have activities to challenge, educate and inspire children with diverse abilities, and from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races and religions.
Rinnai’s tankless water heaters will play a key role in support of the camp’s efficiencies. The company installed the three tankless water heaters on its TRW03 wall-mounted system for the camp’s kitchen. Camp Southern Ground chose a wall-mounted commercial rack system to save space.
Frank Windsor, general manager of Rinnai America Corp., noted in a press release that “Tankless is a smart choice for places like Camp Southern Ground, where the facilities are not needed year-round, but when they are, the demand for hot water is high.” He added that the redundancy of multiple tankless units, space savings, energy efficiency, and reduced overall cost of ownership will provide camp officials with peace of mind, “allowing them to focus on their mission of making camp an unforgettable experience for every child who visits.”
“Supporting the community and the amazing work of local organizations like Camp Southern Ground is one of the core philosophies for Rinnai and its employees. We are happy to be able to help in every way that we can, especially in investing in our future through our communities’ children,” said Takashi Sonoda, president of Rinnai America Corp.