Haier seeks technologies to allow easy self-cleaning of electric water heaters.
Residential electric water heaters commonly develop scale inside the holding tank over time. The presence of scale reduces the efficiency and service life of the electric water heaters, and it may also have an adverse impact on health. Standard maintenance for these water heaters consists of a professional cleaning every 3 years and user cleaning every 6 months. The process for cleaning the water heater tank is straightforward, but time-consuming and messy.
Haier, a major manufacturer of hot water systems, seeks technology that will allow easy cleaning (removal of scale) of electric water heater tanks. Ideal solutions will sense when scale removal is necessary and automatically self-clean. But solutions that can provide efficient and easy cleaning on demand are also of great interest. Additionally, the structural design of successful technologies is important – scale and other sediment should be easily flushed from the tank to prevent clogging.
• Electric water heaters have different volumes, including 40L, 50L, 60L and 80L, etc.
• The inner tank of the electric water heater is pressurized. The rated water pressure is 0.80Mpa and the municipal tap water pressure is 0.05Mpa; the rated supply voltage is 200V and the rated frequency is 50HZ.
Details of the Technology Call
Key Success Criteria:
Successful responses will
- Allow the holding tank of an electric water heater to self-clean either automatically or on demand (push of a button).
- Remove scale without damaging the tank.
- Reduce water consumption by completing the cleaning with a one-time drainage of the tank and no repeated rinsing.
- Allow for easy disposal of waste water resulting from cleaning, for example, draining from the shower head connected with the water heater.
Possible approaches could be based on:
- New structure design
- Mechanical abrasion
- Automation technologies
Approaches not of interest:
- Approaches that cannot be safely used by consumers
- Approaches that requires too many user operations;
Large Enterprise from ChinaHaier
Founded in Qingdao, China in 1984, Haier now has become the world’s largest home appliance manufacturer, with its major product lines ranging from refrigerator, freezer, water heater, air conditioner, washing machine, kitchen appliances and many other small appliances. Currently, the Group’s major brands include Haier, Casarte, GE Appliances, Aqua, Fisher & Paykel, and Leader. Each brand has its own market position and provides outstanding user experiences for end users.
In the age when open innovation is becoming ever more present, the company is also exploring disruptive innovation in many aspects. In terms of R&D, Haier holds the principle that “The world is our R&D center” and now has established 10 R&D centers all around the world, including 3 in North America, 1 in Germany, 2 in China, 1 in South Korea, 1 in Japan, 1 in India and 1 in New Zealand. Each R&D center can be regarded as a technology integrator and all together they form into a global network to bring continuous advanced and disruptive technologies to Haier.
Haier Open Partnership Ecosystem (HOPE) is an open innovation platform of Haier Group. It engages over 3.8 million technology resources and over 400,000 registered users, and generates over 6,000 creative ideas each year. The platform is dedicated to providing services for global innovators and maximizing the interests of all parties by integrating global resources and facilitating the transformation of these good ideas.
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