Joulia-Inline: Energy-efficient shower technology with heat recovery

In the EU, households account for 25% of end-user energy consumption. Within this sector, water heating is the second largest energy consumer after space heating(64.7%), accounting for 14.5% of energy consumption. Taking a hot shower to wake up in the morning or relax after a long day is part of our daily routine, but a lot of energy is wasted in the process. In fact, after only a few seconds, the used hot water flows directly into the sewer system. But what if this energy could be recycled?

That’s the challenge the Joulia team is trying to overcome with its technology: Joulia-Inline. The founders of this Swiss company realized that there was a technological gap between the advanced and efficient materials used for home 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 drainage system to the cold water pipes. Once the technology is installed in the shower, the used hot water, instead of flowing directly into the drain, is recovered by the module and its thermal energy is reused to preheat the incoming cold water. Therefore, the cold water in the mixing valves is already 25°, which allows the use of less hot water and therefore less energy to achieve 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 (equivalent to 8 m2 of electricity generated with solar panels). This way you can reduce your energy bill and protect the environment at the same time.

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 have a financial benefit for the end user. By receiving the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label, Joulia-Inline has proven that it definitely meets these criteria.

Written by
Anouk Rieben