Joulia AG: Showers with heat recovery

Joulia AG showers with heat recovery (Video)

Joulia AG wants to put an end to wasting energy in the shower. The company has developed an innovative heat exchanger for showers that recovers the thermal energy of used water.

With the heat exchanger from Joulia AG, consumers can save energy costs, increase their energy efficiency and counteract global warming.

With this innovation, the company supports SDG7: Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, SDG12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, and SDG13: Taking immediate action to combat climate change and its effects. In particular, the following two sub-objectives are addressed: 7.1: ‘To ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030’ and 12.2: ‘To achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources by 2030’.

What social challenges does Joulia address?

Reducing energy consumption is important not only because of global warming, but also addresses the energy shortage in Switzerland, as emphasised by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). According to the SFOE, just under 50% of Switzerland’s primary energy consumption is spent on buildings. In buildings, on the other hand, heating and hot water are among the energy drivers. These two drivers already require the same amount of energy in modern residential buildings.

However, the potential of energy efficiency in hot water recovery is hardly realized. Up to 80% of the hot water in the household is used for showering alone, where it literally runs down the drain after two seconds. In contrast, there are already many measures to increase energy efficiency in order to preserve the heat of the room. Examples are improved thermal insulation of building shells and triple glazing in windows.

What is the solution?

Instead of flushing the heat of the shower water down the drain, the Joulia heat exchanger recovers the energy and ensures greater efficiency with less energy consumption. The Joulia heat exchanger is integrated into the shower base and is not visible from the outside. It also works without electricity and ensures a clear separation between fresh and waste water. Here’s how it works:

The heat exchanger only extracts the thermal energy from the outflowing wastewater, the used water still flows directly into the sewerage system. The heat energy gained preheats the cold fresh water and after only 10 seconds the heat is back at the shower mixer. Consumers use up to 60% less energy without having to compromise on the heat or length of their shower.

What are the challenges?

Initially, the challenges were to achieve high efficiency in heat recovery and to certify the product. Today, the challenges are more to make the innovation known on the market and to create awareness that heat recovery can make a significant contribution to energy-efficient buildings.

What are the results (impact)?

Joulia recovers as much energy as about 8 m2 of solar cells (PV) produce per year. The energy savings lead to annual expenditure reductions of about 1,000 kWh in a 4-person household. Thus, consumers with heat recovery have lower running energy costs. Depending on the shower channel model it takes about 3-5 years until the additional costs of a shower with heat recovery are amortized.

What is Joulia AG’s vision?

Joulia’s vision is to make showering with heat recovery the new standard. Economically, the company has also set itself the goal of further establishing the sales market in Switzerland and Holland and expanding into other European countries over the next 5 years.

Can the solution be multiplied and scaled?

The solution is scalable and multipliable, as the company not only wants to sell showers with heat recovery itself, but also supplies the heat exchangers to partners who resell them. This gives Joulia a great deal of leverage to ultimately reduce energy consumption in hot water production.

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