Honeycomb Twist Transforms Israel’s 1950s Solar Water Heater

All-weather devices provide the industry with an economical and sustainable alternative to gas.

The technology dates back to the 1950s, when physicist Harry Zvi Tabor moved from England and decided he needed to make a way to harness the sun’s energy and lower his electricity bill.. He invented the solar water heater which consists of a solar panel and a hot water tank.
70 years later, scientists adapted his device to work on an industrial scale, producing a cheap and reliable source of heat. Without burning fossil fuels.

Tigi, a company based in Hod Hasharon in central Israel, added a vital ingredient to the original solar water heater so that it can now work even in cold climates. And, instead of just heating the water up to shower temperature (around 40°C), you can bring it up to the boiling point (100°C).

The drastic reduction in heat loss means it is now a viable option for a wide variety of industrial uses, from laundry to steelmaking, and from cement manufacturing to bottle washing.. All factories need a source of heat, no matter what they produce, and heating accounts for half of the world’s total energy use.

Zvika Klier, chief executive of Tigi, says the idea of ​​insulating solar thermal collectors (panes of glass in a fake mesh) has been around since Tabor invented them, but had never been commercially exploited. Your company perfected the design, patented it, and now incorporates it into the panels that are part of its comprehensive business heating solution..

“We built a complete solution for businesses, including a very important building block, our unique solar thermal collector,” Klier tells NoCamels. “We install it at our expense, and they buy the heat from us at a lower cost than if they were burning fossil fuels, so they start saving immediately, from day one”.

As Klier wishes to emphasize, solar thermal or honeycomb collectors produce heat, rather than electricity. Electricity storage is complex and expensive. But storing hot water is much easier. “We developed a new type of solar thermal collector, which works very efficiently, like a fiasco, even in very cold weather conditions”comment.

They have also provided hot water systems for a hatchery, for the swimming pool and showers in a retirement center for the elderly, for the commercial laundry in a kibbutz, and for the gym and kitchen showers in a high-tech office building.a. Despite the gas crisis, he says companies aren’t always quick to embrace a new idea, no matter how appealing.

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