Patent Number: 6,293,471

Title: Heater control device and method to save energy

Abstract: A device and method is provided for automatically controlling the heating element(s) of an electric hot water heater to minimize electric energy consumption over a prolonged time period by projecting the future need for hot water based on it's use in prior time periods as well as by monitoring the use of hot water during current periods. The device saves energy by switching the heater "off" during times when the projected and current need for hot water is low or nonexistent thereby reducing the tank temperature and therefore energy losses to the ambient, while detecting the instantaneous requirement for hot water through utilization of a flow sensor arrangement, one of which is the utilization of thermistors on the exit pipe and on the tank or body of the heater. The device leaves all existing controls intact and may be adapted by end users to existing heaters or by manufacturers of original equipment (OEMs).

Inventors: Stettin; Daniel R. (Bellmore, NY), Sterber; Frank W. (Farmingdale, NY)


International Classification: F24H 9/20 (20060101); G05D 23/19 (20060101); H05B 001/02 (); F28F 013/00 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018