A water heater and storage tank assembly comprises a housing defining a chamber, an inlet for admitting cold water to the chamber, and an outlet for permitting flow of hot water from the chamber. A compressor is mounted on the housing and is removed from the chamber. A condenser comprises a tube adapted to receive refrigerant from the compressor, and winding around the chamber to impart heat to water in the chamber. An evaporator is mounted on the housing and removed from the chamber, the evaporator being adapted to receive refrigerant from the condenser and to discharge refrigerant to conduits in communication with the compressor. An electric resistance element extends into the chamber, and a thermostat is disposed in the chamber and is operative to sense water temperature and to actuate the resistance element upon the water temperature dropping to a selected level. The assembly includes a first connection at an external end of the inlet, a second connection at an external end of the outlet, and a third connection for connecting the resistance element, compressor and evaporator to an electrical power source.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC01-90 CE 23821, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.