In the EU, households represent 25% of the final user’s energy consumption. Within this sector, water heating is the second biggest use of energy after space heating (64.7%), it represents 14.5% of the energy use. Taking a hot shower to wake up in the morning or to relax after a long day is part of our daily routine, but in the process much energy is wasted. Indeed, after only a few seconds, the hot water used flows directly down the sewerage system. But what if this energy could be recycled?
This is the challenge that Joulia’s team tried to overcome with their technology: Joulia-Inline. The founders of this Swiss company realized that there was a technological gap between the advanced and efficient materials used for houses insulation and the still very inefficient water heating systems for showers.
Joulia-Inline is a simple and efficient concept consisting of a heat exchanger that connects the draining system with the cold water pipes. Once the technology is installed in the shower, used hot water, instead of going directly down the drain, is recovered through the module and its heat energy is reused to preheat incoming cold water. Therefore, when in the mixing valves, the cold water already is 25° enabling the use of less hot water, thus less energy to obtain the perfect water temperature in the shower head. Thanks to this solution, a 4-person household can reduce its energy consumption by 42% and save about 1000 kWh per year (the equivalent of 8m2 of solar cell produced power), therefore allowing you to reduce your energy bill while protecting the environment.
From the beginning of the development process, the inventors had in mind that the solution should not only have a positive impact on the environment, but that it also had to benefit the final user financially. By obtaining the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label, Joulia-Inline has definitely proven to fulfill these criteria.