In the move toward sustainable homes, the progress of showers has been more of a trickle. Ten minutes in a traditional shower can use up to 100 l (22 gal) of water. The Hamwells e-Shower, however, promises high pressure and volume, while saving up to 90 percent on water and 80 percent on energy.
Hamwells was founded only this year, with the aim of building a shower that could make significant savings on water and energy, while still providing the comfort of a traditional shower. The startup says that it found shower heat recovery systems to be inefficient and wasteful of water, low-flow showers to waste water and recycling showers to require expensive maintenance.
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In addition to saving water and energy, the firm wanted its shower to be "cool," easy-to-use, hygienic and self-cleaning. The key to achieving this was creating a design that would reuse water, filtering it as it went.
As a result, the e-Shower is said to use each drop of water an average of seven times. Hamwells says it is at least twice as economical as its closest competitor, the Nebia, and has been chosen by Heijmans N.V. to help make its Heijmans ONE prefab home energy-neutral. The firm also claims that it "offers at least double the comfort" of low-flow showers (however that is calculated).
The e-Shower has two settings. The "Classic shower" setting uses and delivers water at a rate of 7 l (1.5 gal) per minute. When the "Refresh Cycles" setting is selected, however, it is able to deliver 15 l (3.3 gal) of water per minute while using only 1.5 l (0.3 gal) per minute. To do this, a stopper is lowered into the run-off reservoir and sucks water back around the shower's system to be filtered, purified and reused.
As is seemingly the case with every new product today, the shower is Wi-Fi connected. This does provide a few useful functions, though. Users are able to stream music into the shower, water usage and savings can be tracked via an accompanying iOS/Android app and it's possible for remote monitoring and maintenance to be carried out.
Water usage and savings are gamified, with the e-Shower showing a glowing green tree when more water is saved. Hamwells says that, in the future, the shower will also be able to communicate with the heating system of a user's home.
Among the other features of the shower, Hamwells promises easy installation (it can be submerged into the floor and built into the wall, positioned against a wall or in a corner). It also promises minimal maintenance requirements, without a need for filter replacements.
The e-Shower was launched at TechCrunch Disrupt London earlier this month. It will cost €2,950 (US$3,200) and will begin shipping worldwide from July next year.
The video below provides an overview of the Hamwells e-Shower.