Hardly a week goes by without another story in the media about rising energy costs. Electricity prices are going up and natural gas or solar not always an alternative. A New Zealand company has been at the forefront of a different technology… and Temperzone announced an alliance with them in May 2010.




What is this “different” technology? It’s called heat pump water heaters, and a New Zealand company called Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd has been working on its development since 1980. Marketed under the name ‘Performance Plus’, the company has an outstanding reputation for quality, service and reliability, says Todd Parkin, Divisional Manager, MHI & Water Heating at Temperzone in New Zealand.

“Recently, Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd and Temperzone Ltd signed an agreement for Temperzone to manufacture under licence the Performance Plus DHW7G01 heat pump water heater for potable hot water applications,” says Todd. The unit in question is intended mainly for the New Zealand residential markets and is known for its efficiency and quality. “When we enter a joint venture, it’s critically important to ensure that both companies are committed to the highest standards,” says Todd. The Performance Plus product embodies the quality reputations of both Hot Water Heat Pumps and Temperzone. Todd adds, “The synergy with Temperzone is simple: the heat pump unit utilises one of our standard air conditioning units.”

Diving into new markets

Kevin Trigg, Sales and Marketing Manager of Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd, says the company came to the water heater business through their core business as manufacturers of high quality swimming pool heating. With this background, they are well positioned to develop products not only for domestic, but also for larger commercial applications.

Kevin says that 'Performance Plus’ Hot Water Heat Pumps are designed to maintain water temperatures up to 60°C. They can also act as an energy saver up to 50-55°C with an electric booster to bring the water temperature up to the desired level. “They are made to operate in conditions found almost anywhere in Australia or New Zealand,” says Kevin. “They can function in very low ambient temperatures, like those found at Mount Kosciusko... or Mount Hutt for that matter.”

Quality reputation

Kevin says that Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd works hard to maintain its reputation for quality. From the epoxy coated evaporator coils to the use of galvanised steel and polyester powder coating, the products are designed for high corrosion resistance – even in coastal applications.

“Every compressor, controller or fan we specify has to be absolutely top quality,” says Kevin. He adds, “This makes our customers the big winners. Whereas many water heaters have a life expectancy of 10 years or less, our units normally last 12 to 15 years – and in many cases, far longer than that.”

Australian directions

While the potential in domestic markets for heat pump hot water remains untapped, Temperzone will concentrate on commercial applications in Australia. Sales Engineer, Damian Walsh, says that heat pump hot water units have consistently proven 60% cheaper to run than conventional electric hot water heating which utilises electric elements.

“Nor does it waste energy at the rate of natural gas water heating,” he adds, “being 60 to 70% more efficient.”

Damian explains that heat pump hot water units work by absorbing the energy around them. “When they are installed in environments such as plant rooms – where a great deal of ambient heat is generated – they are particularly effective,” he adds.

Along with the entrenched position of a major supplier, this explains the decision to concentrate on commercial applications in Australia. Damian says that with these applications, the payback time for the investment required is generally around three years, but can be as little as 18 months to two years. “This makes it the ideal technology for organisations in many areas of business or community service,” he says. Supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, hospitals and schools are among the end users to be approached by Temperzone in Australia. Indeed, among the company’s first potential customers is a major retail chain, which is considering the technology as a source of renewable energy credits in rural areas where natural gas isn’t an option.

“We believe the potential for heat pump hot water units is enormous,” says Damian Walsh. “This new alliance is sure to open up many doors for us.”

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