envirogy

Marketplace

  • RWM 2017 Trade Shows & Conferences
    RWM 2017

    New features and event zones for RWM 2017

    Bigger, better and more collaborative, the UK's premier event dedicated to Energy, Water, Recycling, Renewables and Waste Management is relaunched

  • F&P Sponsors Movers & Shakers
    F&P Sponsors

    F&P reports 'significant interest' at AD and Biogas Exhibition

    Green energy businesses are crying out for investment, and looking at the alternative finance sector to provide it, according to F&P Sponsors, the P2P lending specialist.

  • Envirogy Renewables Energy & Resource Management
    Envirogy Renewables

    Air source heat pumps now a viable alternative

    Heating UK homes with air source heat pumps is now a viable and credible alternative to traditional methods and can help to combat rising energy bills through greater efficiency.

  • BT Corporate Reports
    BT

    BT's revenue from products and services contributing to carbon abatement totalled £5.3bn

    BT customers have cut carbon emissions by 10 million tonnes. BT's annual Delivering our Purpose report says revenue from products contributing to carbon abatement totalled £5.3bn, representing 22% of its total revenue last year.

v ecohouse button

web mossborough spud field copy

Thursday, 27 July 2017 10:06

Golf ball sized device saves water through gentle reminders!

A 'fit and forget' golf ball sized water monitoring device lets you know when 45 litres have been used so those who take long showers can realise the error of their ways!

Product design company 3fD (3form Design) have created a low cost water saving device for the consumer market that ditches a reliance on electronics but instead blends user-friendly design with engineering. The golf ball sized device uses a tiny, inbuilt gearbox that allows consumers to easily control and monitor their domestic water consumption without the need for expensive smart devices or apps.

Ally Le Sueur, operations manager at 3fD commented: "Many water saving devices limit usage by measuring time rather than volume, so people are left with no real understanding of how much water they're actually using. The ones that do measure volume are often expensive devices with integrated electronics and apps. FloSTEM is a much cheaper device that allows everyday consumers to measure and control their domestic water by using the power of product design and engineering rather than electronics."

3fD Design water saverEssentially a 'fit and forget' device, FloSTEM can be easily fitted between a shower-head and shower, or a tap and a hose pipe, and enables consumers to monitor their water usage in 'packets' of 45L. When 45L of water has passed through the device it shuts off until the user presses a button on the side to allow the next packet of 45L of water through. With an average 8-minute shower using 65L and a typical bath 80L, 3fD chose to limit the device at 45L to emphasise FloSTEM's water saving functionality and to give people a realistic insight into their water consumption.

Ally Le Sueur continued, "It was really important to us that the device didn't feel punishing or negative. Instead we wanted to inform and empower consumers by giving them a simple and clear insight into the water usage and giving them the choice of whether to use more or adapt their habits in order to conserve."

Inside the device an impeller rotates as water flows through, driving a specially designed fixed ratio gearbox that triggers the shut off mechanism when 45L has passed through. An extraordinarily high gear ratio was required in order to make the device viable, and the team sought inspiration by looking into 'epicyclic' water mechanisms and even dissecting an egg timer. To add to their design challenge, the device had to be made from plastic and be small enough to fit through a letterbox.

Simon Willis, product designer at 3fD commented, "We chose to use an epicyclic gearbox because they can be made really compact and can reach the very high ratio that we needed to make the device work. The final gearbox has many nuances to make it work especially for FloSTEM and it's certainly the smallest gearbox that we've ever come across."

Last year the team created their first prototypes by 3D printing the tiny gears and parts using their in-house Stratsys Connex Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) machine. This allowed them to test their device and design data before manufacturing started.

www.3formdesign.com