Why waste the hot water you paid for?

Are you looking for affordable ways to lower the carbon emissions used to heat dwellings or commercial buildings while also helping to cut energy bills? Sustainability is not just a latest buzz word to meet Government targets, its about our moral obligation to both planet and society to cut emissions and energy costs.

There are a number of steps developers and residence can take to further reduce carbon output and lower energy costs in domestic dwellings and commercial real estate. Advances have been made to insulate and heat new builds far more efficiently. There is, however still another huge energy cost that needs addressing to make further savings to pocket and planet.

According to a report by the European Commission, buildings are responsible for 40% energy consumption and 36% carbon dioxide emissions. By improving energy efficiency in buildings there is the potential to lead to significant energy and carbon savings. The energy needed to produce hot water has become the biggest portion of total house-hold energy use. So, if we have tackled the need for better building regulations to keep heat in, why are we not dealing with the high energy costs to heat water?

Zypho waste water heat recovery device recognises waste water as a renewable heat source

Cost of taking a daily shower

Heating water is the main source of energy consumption for modern buildings, yet around 80% of that energy literally disappears down the drain. If our waste water holds considerable amounts of thermal energy, would it not make sense to find a way to recover as much of that heat as possible and use it for pre-heating cold water?

The exciting news is that there is a very simple, cost effective way you can ‘recycle’ heat to lower the amount wasted. An innovative heat exchange system using a copper coil allows for much of that energy to be recovered. It facilitates the transfer of internal thermal energy between hot and cold water. The device is a passive technology that doesn’t require any external energy source.

Why install a wastewater heat recovery system?

A wastewater heat recovery system is a type of heat exchanger where heat is recovered from waste water to preheat incoming cold water. Zypho is an example of such a system and is installed into showers to reduce energy needed to heat water. Studies and research estimate that the heat in waste water is enough to heat 2 million homes in UK. The heat recovered from waste water is then used to raise the temperature of cold feed from 100C to between 25 and 280C. Recovering heat that would otherwise disappear down the drain also reduces the strain on your boiler and the energy required to heat water up to the desired temperature when you take a shower.

A waste water heat recovery system is placed under the shower tray in either a vertical or horizontal orientation. The effectiveness of these devices depends on each systems particular characteristics.  User behaviour also affects cost effective outcomes such as length of shower time, desired water temperature, shower head flow rate and number of daily showers per dwelling.

The availability of space under a shower tray for a waste water heat recovery system to be installed has been mentioned as a possible deterrent. The feedback was taken on board and a new slim fit design launched to market.

The Zypho Slim 50 is the slimmest heat recovery device currently on the market. At just 500mm high it fits under any shower tray design. It improves energy efficiency by 66% and its sleek design is easy to install. The 50% energy efficiency of the Slim50 is higher than any other multi-fit device.

How effective is a WWHRS?

A WWHRS works by preheating cold water. They recover around 60% of energy that would normally go down the drain. For building developers, they are a cost-effective way to pass building regulation Part L, by increasing your SAP score. Shower heat recovery systems are easy to install and take up very little floor space. To the home occupier, they save on energy bills and there is no post-installation maintenance required for this passive piece of technology.

Hot waste water is a valuable source of energy. An indirect form of renewable energy is by recovering this heat before it disappears down the drain. WWHRS, therefore has proven potential for energy efficiency and cost-effective energy use. Zypho waste water heat recovery is an economic as well as environmentally effective system ready to be installed in your shower!