Energy / Climate Change

May 8, 2010


Tokyo Gas Releases Solar Water Heater for Installation on Condominium Balconies

Keywords: Non-manufacturing industry Renewable Energy 

Tokyo Gas Co., a major natural gas utility in Japan, released on February 22, 2010, a new water heating system, the "SOLAMO," which consists of a gas heater and solar thermal collectors that can be built into balcony handrails in condominiums. The system captures solar energy at individual condominium units and uses it to heat water, thus achieving high energy conversion efficiency. This also allows the residents to enjoy the firsthand benefits of the system.

This system preferentially uses solar energy, and when the solar-heated water is not hot enough, a gas heater works to compensate for a lack of energy. By turning off the gas heater, the residents can use lukewarm water heated only by solar energy for specific purposes, such as hand-washing dishes.

As the solar thermal collectors are mounted vertically on balconies, they blend in with the exterior of the condominium. In addition, the amount of collected heat increases as the sun's altitude decreases in winter when water heating needs are high. It is also possible for the residents to track the reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from the use of solar energy through the system's touch-screen remote controller.

Using this system, solar energy can cover about 16 percent of the average hot water consumption for a family of three. When combined with the "Eco-Joze," a high-efficiency gas water heater that utilizes a latent heat recovery mechanism, the system can reduce annual gas consumption by about 29 percent, and CO2 emissions by about 270 kilograms, as compared to conventional hot water supply systems.

Tokyo Gas to Test High-Efficiency Solar Air Conditioning System (Related JFS article)
Tokyo Gas Co. official website

Posted: 2010/05/08 06:00:15 AM