Showerloop – Save 33.000L of water each year
While we waste more than 60 liters of water per shower, this incredible and simple invention could revolutionize our everyday life and avoid a huge worldwide water waste. Jason Selvarajan, a Finnish engineer of 29 years old has invented the ecological endless shower.
Usually, one minute of shower requires 10 liters of water [efn_note]https://www.gwmwater.org.au/conserving-water/saving-water/how-much-water-you-use[/efn_note]. With Showerloop, whether you stay in the shower for a minute or an hour, this shower will always require the same amount of water: 10 liters, not less, not more.
Moreover, Showerloop is also an accessible and cost-effective technology. The materials used come from hardware stores. Jason also made a tutorial video to encourage people to built the shower themself, and it doesn’t look that tricky! Jason’s showers cost between 100 and 200 euros. And if you make it yourself, it will much less expensive.
HOW IT WORKS
Get in the shower and select your desired water temperature on a small screen. Once you press start, water begins to flow just like in a normal shower, the difference is that instead of the water being wasted by letting it go down the drain, it’s collected and pumped though several filters:
1. Screen filter: like the one you have in a kitchen sink to remove hair and large objects and to protect the pump. A gravity filter can also be utilized here.
2. Micro-fiber/geotextile: mostly to keep in the filtrate materials but also works like the mesh filter
3. Sand: to filter out particles
4. Activated carbon: to clarify the water, remove colour, smell and chemicals
5. Ultraviolet light: to sterilise the water from potentially harmful bacteria
COLLECT, CLEAN, STERILISE, REUSE = LOOP
After passing through the filters the water is clear, clean and bacteria free and ready to be pumped back into the shower head. A small electrical resistor can be used to reheat the water to your set temperature. When you are done the water goes down the drain like normal or you can use the water for something else, like doing your laundry or flushing the toilet to save even more water.
Here’s a little preview of how they imagine a complete household water loop to look like. By reusing the same water from one process to another we can dramatically decrease water consumption without having to sacrifice.
THE ONLY CHALLENGE:
The water needs to be collected for the pump which needs to be placed at the lowest point of the shower, ideally under the basin. If you have an Italian-style shower you can build a new basin instead of tearing the floor apart. They are also working on a way to hack your existing drain and using self-priming pumps so that you can plug the drain during loop mode and suck the water out of the small collection basin.
AUTOMATE, MONITOR, RE-PROGRAM, CUSTOMISE
Multiple sensors and a micro-controller are used to allow for complete monitoring and control of the system so you can understand more about your own behavior and personalize the shower to fit your needs (e.g. tell you when to get out of the shower in case you’re in a hurry).
You can set your ideal showering conditions like flow rate, water temperature, ambiance and to automatically wash the filters once you’ve left the shower so that the filters last longer before requiring manual maintenance. By measuring use and changes in flow rate it can inform you when to change filters.
Multiple sensors and a micro-controller are used to allow for complete monitoring and control of the system so you can understand more about your own behavior and personalize the shower to fit your needs (e.g. tell you when to get out of the shower in case you’re in a hurry). You can set your ideal showering conditions like flow rate, water temperature, ambiance and to automatically wash the filters once you’ve left the shower so that the filters last longer before requiring manual maintenance. By measuring use and changes in flow rate it can inform you when to change filters.
Two different setups for the filter. One the left is the POC21 model (see the DIY instructions) made with copper pipes and without the automated control system and slightly smaller filters for a lower flow rate.
On the left is the fully operational prototype shower built for 10 l/min and automated piping. Instead of copper pipe, drinking water hose was used. This was used for testing and fast iterations. The image on the left more closely resembles the final product but the placement and look of the filters can be modified by the user.
And you know what? Showerloop results in a 90% reduction in water usage and 70-90% in energy reduction for a 10-minute shower with a flow rate of 10 l/min. What’s more, the project has been released under a CERN Open Hardware License. Thanks who? Thanks Jason!