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Heat pump water heater and method of making the same

United States Patent

May 22, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
An improved heat pump water heater wherein the condenser assembly of the heat pump is inserted into the water tank through an existing opening in the top of the tank, the assembly comprising a tube-in-a-tube construction with an elongated cylindrical outer body heat exchanger having a closed bottom with the superheated refrigerant that exits the compressor of the heat pump entering the top of the outer body. As the refrigerant condenses along the interior surface of the outer body, the heat from the refrigerant is transferred to the water through the outer body. The refrigerant then enters the bottom of an inner body coaxially disposed within the outer body and exits the top of the inner body into the refrigerant conduit leading into the expansion device of the heat pump. The outer body, in a second embodiment of the invention, acts not only as a heat exchanger but also as the sacrificial anode in the water tank by being constructed of a metal which is more likely to corrode than the metal of the tank.
Mei; Viung C. (Oak Ridge, TN), Tomlinson; John J. (Knoxville, TN), Chen; Fang C. (Knoxville, TN)
Lockhead Martin Energy Research Corp. (Oakridge, TN)
09/ 396,061
September 15, 1999
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-96OR22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp. and Contract No. DE-AC05-84OR21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc., and the Government has certain rights in this invention.