Smart Water – Balancing Home Efficiency and the Internet of Things
There has been a lot of hype and expectation in the last few years for smart gadgets. These are appliances that can communicate with one another through Wifi and perform any number of actions.
Your phone can talk to your fridge, your oven can talk to your TV, and on it goes.
Smart Appliances are youthful and exciting, but we cannot always say that they are truly more efficient, economical or intelligent. The Internet of Things is being called “smart”, but what does that mean? Are they any better? Are they built smarter?
What has not been so evident in the mainstream are the stunning advances in efficiency and productivity for some of our most basic utilities. Advances that in many minds trump the Smart Device World by their efficiency and intelligent design.
Products like Nest and the Tesla Solar Roof, for example, are changing the way homes are built. Similar technology is being developed that is changing how homes use energy. To be sure, there are many challenges, but the exciting thing for home builders and renovators goes beyond just smart tech. It also includes “smart design” and “smart built”.
Nexus Water (www.nexusewater.com), is another example of a new breed of efficient (read, “truly smart”) technology that homeowners can take advantage of.
Giving thought to what homeowners actually want, Nexus Water developed a drain water treatment device that can handle and convert grey water for irrigation and a water heater that recycles the embedded energy (heat) in drain water and reuses it for your water heating.
The concepts are simple, yet a great leap forward in a genuinely “smarter” home.
Grey water is the common term used for household and domestic wastewater that has been used in our sinks, laundries, and baths. Essentially, it is the soapy, mostly clean water that comes from your home’s showers, laundry, and hand sinks.
Best estimates suggest that around 2 in every 3 gallons of indoor water used is grey water.
The NEXtreater technology cleans this water using a three-stage process. That process includes disinfection, flotation, and filtration.
The water can then be used for toilets and outdoor use such as watering the garden or flushing toilets. These two simple applications alone can reduce sewer flow by up to 70%.
This represents considerable water savings and a smarter use of water.
While the world continues to become smarter and smarter regarding technology, our basic needs remain the same.
Our basic needs in life are still for food, water, and shelter. But it’s not enough to simply have these things. Especially when it comes to water. The same water that brings life to all things can also be a cause of sickness and disease if not treated and maintained.
While it’s true that most of the water that comes out of the tap is now clean and safe, we have around 11% of the world’s population – That’s a whopping 783 million people – who still don’t have access to a source of clean and reliable drinking water.
Developing a smart home means more than just having a WiFi signal and some clever electronics to regulate heating. Truly smart home development and innovation require more thoughtful technology and building materials that actually have efficiency built into the home.