European homes are becoming smarter. Technology is being integrated into all facets of normal daily life, bringing vast gains in quality of life, reducing costs, and helping to reduce impacts on the environment. New regulations from the European Commission in 2018 also require energy-efficient solutions to be implemented for hot water supply in buildings. There are an estimated 290 million shower trays in Europe, presenting a large opportunity for new solutions. The PassiveShowerEcoTray project, led by Cerian Shower, builds on their patented innovative shower tray system that reuses heat energy from falling water in the shower. The system contains an efficient heat exchanger, which recovers up to 40 % of the energy used to heat up shower water. The used ‘grey water’ is used to warm up the cold water entering the shower system, instead of letting energy (and costs) go down the drain. The system’s positive results will be multiplied in buildings with large numbers of showers, such as schools, universities, gyms, sports and recreational centres, spas and hotels. “We finally came up with a much more improved prototype and succeeded in the certification process with the Passive House Institute in the Netherlands, which, to our knowledge, makes the Cerian Shower system the first-ever easily adaptable, accessible and nearly zero-maintenance shower tray certified for energy recovery,” says César González Valiente, CEO of Cerian Shower.
Renew, refresh and save
The system – a heat exchanger integrated in a shower tray – contains a passive energy-efficient element, with no need for maintenance once installed. “This is a solution to be implemented in both retrofit and new-builds,” says Valiente. The system fits in all kinds of building and is easily installed much as a conventional shower tray is. The efficient system brings all kinds of tangible benefits to individuals and society. Up to 40 % of the energy needed to heat shower water is recovered, leading to an estimated saving of around EUR 150 per year for a family of three. Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, too: 341 kg less of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere each year as a result. The price of the system is recovered in just 2 years, and the product lasts for two decades. This equates to an eventual saving of EUR 3 000 (Europe average) and nearly 7 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Both financial and environmental benefits are critical, says Elena Maneiro Franco, adviser to Cerian Shower on business development and innovation: “Society is really concerned about environmental impact, and this is a key driver in consumers’ decisions. Financial savings also incentivise citizens to implement solutions that, even if they might be a bit more expensive than conventional ones, show figures demonstrating a clear return on investment.”
Building a cleaner future
The Horizon 2020 grant allowed the PassiveShowerEcoTray project to move to new facilities (350 square metres), acquiring equipment that allowed for a small industrialised production of the system. Valiente points out: “We are now ready to serve the market up to quite an interesting level and with different models of shower trays. We are progressing now in establishing a salesforce in order to reach our customers and are continuing to plan and design new shower trays.” In conclusion, Valiente adds: “We would like to thank the European Commission for making this project possible. The EC has helped us in reaching our aim of contributing to reducing energy use and, therefore, environmental impact from the very moment we wake up in the morning!”
PassiveShowerEcoTray, shower, tray, savings, energy, heat exchanger, grey water