Feb 07, 2007

Frost & Sullivan Awards A. O. Smith

Palo Alto, Calif., -- Frost & Sullivan selected A.O. Smith Corporation as the recipient of the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation in the United States water heater market. The company's new Vertex (TM) residential water heater product line has catered to a growing market requirement.
The Vertex design incorporates original design features to meet continuous hot water requirements. With consumers increasingly buying luxury items such as whirlpool bathtubs and body spray systems, there is an increased need for sophisticated residential water heaters. The Vertex line supplies this need with its ability to heat water efficiently and provide a steady flow of hot water in high-volume residential applications.
Most standard gas water heaters have efficiency ratings of .60 (EF). In terms of thermal efficiency, conventional models are typically 75-78 percent efficient and tankless models around 80 percent. With the Vertex design, homeowners can expect 90 percent thermal efficiency.
Conventional gas water heaters usually employ a burner beneath the tank that heats the water, while electric water heaters come with a heating element submerged in the tank. Vertex makes use of a burner and helical heat exchanger inside the tank.
Before A. O. Smith developed the technology to coat heat exchangers with glass, manufacturers could only use a stainless steel heat exchanger. The glass-coated model reduces cost drastically for both manufacturers and customers. Moreover, the greater surface area on the heat exchanger enables even a standard-sized unit to heat greater quantities of water.
Vertex's design combines the benefits of the large capacity afforded by standard tank systems as well as the greater supply of hot water provided by tankless models. Vertex also helps homeowners eliminate the costly and complicated process of upgrading exhaust piping to stainless steel in order to accommodate the higher flue temperatures.
Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company they believe demonstrates excellence in new products and technologies within its industry.