Smart Water Fund: Smart Shower Meter –
Real Time Water Consumption Feedback Device
The Smart Water Fund, an initiative of Melbourne Water, Yarra Valley Water, South East Water and City West Water and supported by the Victorian Government, was established to fund projects aimed at innovative water conservation, water recycling and sustainable biosolids management systems.
- Smart Water Fund (Victorian State Government fund provider)
- Smart Shower Meter
The challenge was to achieve water savings beyond what water efficient appliances could deliver. Invetech conceived and developed the Smart Shower Water Meter, a device providing users with real time feedback on their shower water consumption. Over time the Smart Shower Meter encourages the shower users to use less water with each user achieving the minimum shower volume that still provides an acceptable shower experience.
Key aspects of the design included:
- An easy to install configuration allowing householder installation without the need for a plumber,
- a mechanically robust, water resistant enclosure designed to for the bathroom environment,
- development of low-power flow and temperature sensing electronics,
- development of an information rich user interface that is easy for the user to understand and operate, and
- integration of a logging function to record shower usage data over the trial period.
Our team developed demonstration prototypes, manufactured using rapid prototyping techniques, which achieved a commercial look and feel. Invetech conducted a 6-month trial of 20 Smart Shower Meter prototypes in households in Melbourne Australia to evaluate the water and energy savings that typical householders could achieve. This trial demonstrated average shower water savings of 15% with a high level of user acceptance.
The development of the Smart Shower Meter illustrates the value of using prototypes to test market acceptance, performance usability and robustness before committing to design for manufacture.