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10th September 2019
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Zypho shower heat recovery device improves energy efficiency
Some 15-30% of a typical home energy bill is spent on heating water, despite almost 90% of the energy used to heat your shower water 'going down the drain'. This is about to change...
A heat recovery device that reduces shower water heating bills by up to 30%, improves energy efficiency and cuts carbon footprints, is now being installed in bathroom units across the UK.
Zypho, produced by a Portuguese company, is a device that is installed under a shower tray or a bathtub, becoming part of the drainage system and allowing around 10 degrees C from the shower water that passes through the device to be recovered.
The recovered heat is then transferred to the cold-water mains before arriving at the shower tap mixer already preheated, meaning less hot water is required to reach the optimum shower temperature.
The technology was invented by José Meliço, the founder and CEO, when he was 14. Concerned to see so much energy going down the drain, he began testing ways to recapture and reuse lost energy.
The inventor submitted Zypho to the EDP Richard Branson Innovation Award, reaching the top three entries and capturing the attention of Portuguese utilities company EDP, which later invested in Zypho.
"To create the ideal shower temperature of 40 degrees C, the tap has to mix a large amount of electric or gas-heated hot water at around 60 degrees C, with cold water coming in at 10-20 degrees C. But so much of that energy is wasted - it literally goes down the drain," explains founder and CEO, José Meliço, who believes Zypho is the cost-effective solution that will slash the energy bills and carbon footprints of houses and buildings across the world.
"The daily showers for a household of three people account for approximately 5,000Kwh of energy consumption. Zypho could help save around 30% of that, which would be the equivalent of 12, 9W compact light bulbs running constantly for an entire year," he explains.
"As a completely passive technology, Zypho is one of the simplest and safest ways to save money and reduce energy consumption, recovering wasted heat energy with each and every shower. Neither your shower temperature nor your shower time has to change, and once installed, Zypho is not visible in your shower or bath."
Zypho is also suitable for any buildings with high shower usage, such as gyms, hospitals, hotels and other businesses looking to cut their carbon footprint and energy usage.
Zypho is already installed in many homes and other projects managed by high-profile companies such as Dandara Developers in Isle of Man and Glasgow, and Colmore Tang in Birmingham.
Outside the UK, Zypho is used by La Tour Elithis Danube in France and Apartments Group BV in The Netherlands, among many others.
José Meliço hopes his technology will become a default addition to shower drains in all new UK homes, which are increasingly required to be energy efficient.
In the previous Autumn budget, the Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged that the UK Government will build 300,000 homes a year. This compares to the 2017 level of around 217,000.
Further afield, the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive requires all EU countries to use energy more efficiently throughout the energy chain. All new homes must have nearly zero-energy building (NZEB) status by 2020, and all new public buildings must be NZEBs by 2018.
These new requirements will affect the booming European construction market, which has a projected yearly growth of 6% until 2020, while the global industry is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2% from 2018 to 2023.
José Meliço hopes that Zypho has a role to play in helping construction companies and governments to meet energy efficiency targets in new and retrofitted homes as the rate of construction around the world swells.
With its patented technology 10,000 Zypho units are already installed in 15 countries across four continents.
25th May 2018