Showerloop by Looploop

Showerloop by Looploop: Showerloop is a realtime water filter for showers

Vantaa, Finland
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Showers are great, but pouring hot and almost drinkable water down the drain is not. Showerloop is a real-time filtration, purification & recycling system for showers. OPEN SOURCE - OPEN HARDWARE - ECOLOGICAL - ECONOMICAL

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if you could use 10x less water and energy for every shower you take?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Showers consume large amounts of water and heat energy (for warm water). This has a financial and ecological impact and in many cases a traditional western shower is not possible because of a lack of available or consistent water or energy supplies or financial capactiy.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Showerloop is a real-time filtration, purification & recycling system for showers. The device can be standalone or added to existing showers which allows for the reuse of 10 litres of water per shower. This is done hygienically by capturing and pumping the 10 litres of water through a series of simple and inexpensive filters: sand filter, activated carbon filter and UV-lamp, which together remove impurities from the water and sterilize it each loop in real-time, allowing for a huge reduction in water consumption. Energy is saved because warm water is reused immediately thus requiring significantly less heat energy to maintain constant water temperatur.

Awards

Peloton Summer Camp prize. The project has also participated in the POC21 Innovation Camp.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

By reducing water and energy demand by 5-20x (depending on usage) Showerloop allows for more people to bathe with less water and energy. Because the energy consumption of the filtration system is low the entire system can affordably run on renewable energy and work off the grid. Bringing hygiene to areas that are not on the grid or have intermittent water or energy supplies. The open source and open hardware nature of the project also allow for local communities to build, repair and produce the showers thereby enhancing local economies while simultaneously bringing needed alternatives to large and expensive utilites. The system can also work in a cascading system, whereby the same water is used to wash clothes further reducing water demand.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We are only beginning the project now as the prototyping of the project is almost complete. Bacteriological, detergent and particulate experiments have been conducted and the technology is ready for deployment. Interested parties range from low to medium income households, off the grid homes, tiny houses, boats and mobile vehicles. While a typical shower can use up to 100l of water and 3.4 kWh of heating energy Showerloop only needs 10l of water and 0.4 kWh of energy while maintaining the same conditions. Using solar heating the energy demand drops to 0.03 kWh or 33 Wh We are beginning a pilot phase of alpha testers with participants in the previously mentioned scenarios to document how the filtration system can be modified to all user case scenarios and how to make the system completely carbon neutral.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are applying for collaborative projects with various communities especially in France and South-Africa but intend to partner with refugee camps and organisations working in areas that need the technology the most. We are beginning prodcution of Showerloop KITS that allow anyone, anywhere to adapt them to their existing or new showers as the first phase. Once all alpha testing is complete we will begin to produce manufacturing KITS which will allow communities or entrepreneurs to build their own Showerloops to fit the context of their environment and communities.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Buy producing KITS we can affordably begin production and deployment of the technology with little financial risk. After the first demonstration phase we will collaborate with manufacturers in other fields to adapt the system to their needs and to spread awareness of the technology. As our client base grows the production can scale simultaneously as most components are ubiquitous around the world.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is a similar system by Orbital Systems called Shower of the Future but the unit price is 5x higher than our solution and the filtration tech is so expensive that it is marketed towards the luxury eco-market. There are also many high-pressure-low-volume showerheads on the market but overall may use more water unless showering duration is reduced. These systems are to date more affordable but do not approach the problems of intermittent water or energy supplies. Showerloop can function as an off the grid solution and use the environment for things like solar heating and rainwater.
Team

Founding Story

The project started as a bachelor thesis by Keiran Holland and myself, Jason. The concept was too useful for a world facing environmental changes so the development continued. Later Jason recruited Eduard Kobak to automate the system to allow users to monitor water and energy consumption aka biofeedback on their habits and Anup Mishra to test the filtration system for soap and shampoo. Since then Jason has participated in numerous business and climate change related events with Showerloop in various countries including Finland, Spain, Germany and France. This year Showerloop moved out of a garage into a startup incubator called Turbiini in Vantaa, Finland which is helping to commercialize

Team

Currently the team consist of Jason Selvarajan (full-time), Eduard Kobak (part-time) and has a large group of outside contributors due to the open-source nature of the project. Team members are recruited for short durations as either volunteers or interns to the project but long term employees have been difficult to maintain due to a lack of funds. Current supporters include staff from Autodesk (London and San Fransico) to help with 3d modelling, business advisors (Paris and South Africa), engineers (Paris and Helsinki), The start-up incubator is also assisting in commercialising the project and offering designers and mentors to the project. We are also collaborating with POC21 (OpenState and OuiShare) and OSCEdays Open Source Communities. As our resources are growing we have started to look for new team members, most noticeably in the business management and marketing fields.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

People have approached me about this via e-mail and also in person

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

This is the first big one. Otherwise I have been involved with mostly freelance work arranging live music events, doing graphic design and websites for various events and working in startups.

I was also involved in the Pioneers into Practice program which is an EU wide work exchange program that focuses on the Climate Change transition in a multidisciplinary way. I've also been part of international startup training courses (Climate Launch Pad) as well as a student competition on Smart Cities.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

I have several mentors at the Startup Incubator Turbiini in Vantaa, Finland. Advisors from Aalto Fablab and Aalto Media Factory research staff, the organisers of POC21 Innovation Camp are also helping to negotiate with potential partners and providing help with documentation and open source and open hardware issues. We also are getting help from volunteers that are interested in the Showerloop project which include Industrial, electrical and aerospace designers. From time to time we also arrange holdups with the Makes Sense organisation which assists social entrepreneurship startups.