Shower Heat at Your Feet

Shower Heat at Your Feet


The makers of Joulia—a shower floor designed to capture the heat from the used water draining at your feet and use it to heat the water about to spray over your head—are working to attract distribution in the United States.

Don’t throw out the heat with the bathwater.

The makers of Joulia—a shower floor designed to capture the heat from the used water draining at your feet and use it to heat the water about to spray over your head—are working to attract distribution in the United States.

Joulia’s ShowerDeck, which was recently featured at the Watt d’Or exhibition at Swissnex Boston, is designed to be integrated into an existing shower floor. The heat exchanger is based on the same technology as solar thermal collector. A system of pipes called a “fresh water meander” through which clean water is sent, collects heat from the wastewater as it sheets over the tray floor and down the drain.

According to Joulia co-founder and CEO Reto Schmid, the system heats incoming cold water up from 10 to 25 degrees. (we presume Celsius) within a few seconds. By the time the cold water arrives at the mixing valve, less hot water is required, resulting in “notable energy savings.” The website gives users a sliding scale to choose the length of an average shower and how often one showers a week and then offers a savings estimate. Schmid said the heat exchange reduces the energy requirements of a standard shower by more than one-third, or approximately 1,000 kWh per year.

The deck rests in the shower tray. The 90-by-90-cm deck can be installed by a licensed plumber at floor level, meaning there is no need for a step up into the shower.

The entire system is easy to clean. The deck can be lifted by a handgrip for cleaning both the heat exchanging surface and to access the trap. The deck can be cleaned just like any shower stall, except that abrasive products and sponges can’t be used. Neither can cleaning agents with a PH-value above 12 (such as drain openers).

The deck comes in white as standard, but can be customized in a variety of colors. There’s also an anti-slip option.

The showertray, including the tray with heat exhanger, four adjustment legs and the white shower deck costs about $2,900. Compared to other Swiss showertrays, the Joulia system costs about twice as much, but it’s the return on investment that Schmid says makes this one worth it. The Joulia will save about 1,000 kWh per year.

The exibition in Boston was the company’s first step into the North American market, and distribution plans are not yet defined.

‘‘Depending on feedback and market insight we will make our decisions. Currently we are looking for a [pilot] project to get some first experience in the U.S,“ Schmid says.

About The Author

Casey Meserve is a TecHome Builder Staff Writer, creating investigative and timely articles for its eMagazine and Special Reports. She graduated from Bridgewater State University with a master’s degree in English in 2011. She began her writing career in 2005 as a reporter for Community Newspaper Company and later GateHouse Media. From 2010 to 2013, she worked as an editor at AOL Patch.

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