US20110289672A1 - System and method for showering with fixed parameter water usage - Google Patents

System and method for showering with fixed parameter water usage Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110289672A1
US20110289672A1 US13/032,498 US201113032498A US2011289672A1 US 20110289672 A1 US20110289672 A1 US 20110289672A1 US 201113032498 A US201113032498 A US 201113032498A US 2011289672 A1 US2011289672 A1 US 2011289672A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
water
tank
shower
showering
stage
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Abandoned
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US13/032,498
Inventor
Douglas Patrick Cummings
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Douglas Patrick Cummings
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Priority to AUAU2010902354 priority Critical
Priority to AU2010902354A priority patent/AU2010902354A0/en
Application filed by Douglas Patrick Cummings filed Critical Douglas Patrick Cummings
Publication of US20110289672A1 publication Critical patent/US20110289672A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03BINSTALLATIONS OR METHODS FOR OBTAINING, COLLECTING, OR DISTRIBUTING WATER
    • E03B1/00Methods or layout of installations for water supply
    • E03B1/04Methods or layout of installations for water supply for domestic or like local supply
    • E03B1/048Systems for collecting not used fresh water
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03BINSTALLATIONS OR METHODS FOR OBTAINING, COLLECTING, OR DISTRIBUTING WATER
    • E03B1/00Methods or layout of installations for water supply
    • E03B1/04Methods or layout of installations for water supply for domestic or like local supply

Abstract

A showering system comprising a first tank, a first and second pump, a water heater, a shower head, a shower base and a valve; wherein water for a shower is stored in the first tank from which it is pumped via the first pump through the water heater to the shower head whence from the water falls to the shower base and passes to the valve from which the water is either discharged to a sewer or pumped via the second pump back to the first tank.

Description

    CROSS-RELATED PATENT APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of an Australian Patent Application No. AU2010902354, filed May 28, 2010. The entire disclosure of this prior application is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to a showering system, in particular a showering system in which the amount of water used can be limited to a pre-set maximum.
  • BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
  • Water is becoming an increasingly scarce and valuable commodity. Unfortunately most domestic infrastructure and practices have evolved during times when water conservation was not a major issue and are often very wasteful of water. This is particularly the case with showering
  • In a conventional showering scenario a person would first turn on the taps and wait until the water is at the correct temperature before entering. Then they would wash and rinse and then finally stand and luxuriate in the running water. Each of these stages, particularly the last, has the potential to wastefully consume vast amounts of water and also the energy required to heat it.
  • The object of this invention is to provide a showering system that alleviates the above problems, or at least provides the public with a useful alternative.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Therefore in one form of the invention there is proposed a showering system comprising a first tank, a first and second pump, a water heater, a shower head, a shower base and a valve; wherein water for a shower is stored in the first tank from which it is pumped via the first pump through the water heater to the shower head whence from the water falls to the shower base and passes to the valve from which the water is either discharged to a sewer or pumped via the second pump back to the first tank.
  • Preferably the showering system further comprises a third pump and a second tank wherein the third pump can pump water from the first tank to the second tank.
  • Advantageously a shower is conducted in a first, second and third stage; wherein during the first stage the water is returned from the valve to the first tank via the second pump; during the second stage the water is discharged from the valve to the sewer; and during the third stage the water is returned from the valve to the first tank via the second pump.
  • Preferably the shower transitions from the second stage to the third stage when a preset volume of water has been pumped from the first tank.
  • In preference the shower transitions from the first stage to the second stage: in response to an action from a user of the shower; when the water temperature reaches a preset level or when a preset time has elapsed
  • Preferably at the completion of the shower the remaining water in the first tank is pumped to the second tank via the third pump.
  • In a further embodiment the showering system further comprises a third tank in which water for the shower is stored; wherein water to the first pump can come from either the first tank or the third tank.
  • Advantageously water may be taken simultaneously from the first tank by the third pump and from the third tank by the first pump
  • Preferably the water returned from the valve to the first tank is sterilized.
  • It should be noted that any one of the aspects mentioned above may include any of the features of any of the other aspects mentioned above and may include any of the features of any of the embodiments described below as appropriate.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate various implementations of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the advantages and principles of the invention. In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a showering system according to a first embodiment of the invention; and
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a showering system according to a second embodiment of the invention.
  • LIST OF COMPONENTS
      • 10 showering system
      • 12 controller
      • 14 start/stop mechanism
      • 15 mode indicia
      • 16 shower head
      • 18 shower base
      • 20 water supply input
      • 21 main input valve
      • 22 reuse valve
      • 23 auxiliary input valve
      • 24 main output valve
      • 25 auxiliary output valve
      • 26 drain valve
      • 27 sewer output
      • 28 reuse output
      • 30 shower pump
      • 32 recycling pump
      • 34 reuse pump
      • 36 output pump
      • 40 main tank (first embodiment)
      • 41 main tank (second embodiment)
      • 42 auxilliary tank
      • 44 reuse tank
      • 50 instant hot water service
      • 52 recycling filter
      • 54 UV steriliser
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The following detailed description of the invention refers to the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings and the following description to refer to the same and like parts. Dimensions of certain parts shown in the drawings may have been modified and/or exaggerated for the purposes of clarity or illustration.
  • The showering system is designed to both reduce the amount of water consumed and reuse water where possible. This is done within the confines of a settable absolute maximum of water consumed whilst still allowing a person to enjoy an unlimited shower.
  • Three separate strategies are combined to reduce the amount of water consumed. The first strategy is to recycle the start up water until it has reached the desired temperature and the person enters the shower. The second strategy is to limit the amount of water available during the wash and rinse stage and the final strategy is to recycle the water that is used during the ‘luxuriate’ stage, that is once a person is clean and are simply in the shower for the pleasure of it. By recycling water during the luxuriate stage the total amount of water used is finite, regardless of how long a person spends in the shower.
  • A further strategy is employed to reduce the total amount of water used by a household; after the shower has been completed the water used in the luxuriate stage is pumped to a storage tank to be reused for purposes such as flushing a toilet, watering a garden or washing clothes.
  • Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows the general arrangement of the showering system 10 according to a first embodiment of the invention.
  • As seen in FIG. 1 the main components of the showering system 10 are controller 12, main tank 40, instant hot water service 50, shower head 16, shower base 18, drain valve 26, shower pump 30 for supplying water to the shower head 14 and recycling pump 32 for recycling the water back to the main tank 40.
  • The controller 12, as its name implies, controls the operation of the showering system 10 via the pumps 30, 32, 34 36, and valves 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 (connections not shown). The controller also monitors the levels of the tanks 40, 42 and 44 in order to change the state of the pumps and valves as appropriate. The controller 12 is implemented in a commercial Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) but could readily be implemented by other means.
  • In preparation for use the main tank 40 is filled with fresh water from the water supply input 20 via the main input valve 21. The main tank 40 initially holds 36 litres of water and this will be the maximum used during a shower. This amount is in line with government guidelines, but could readily be set to a different value.
  • When a shower is initiated shower pump 30 pumps water from the main tank 40, through the instant hot water service 50 and to the shower head 16. The water reaching the shower base 18 is then diverted by the drain valve 26 away from sewer output 27 towards recycling pump 32 which returns the water to the main tank 40. This recycling of water allows the water to reach the desired temperature without any wastage before a person begins washing.
  • The next stage of the shower is initiated when a person enters the shower to wash and can be signaled to the controller 12 by a stop/start mechanism 14 which can be implemented by any suitable means such as a switch or breaking a light beam across the entrance to the shower. Alternatively, the next stage could be initiated in response to the water reaching a preset temperature or after a fixed time has elapsed. In this washing stage the drain valve 26 is set to allow the water reaching the shower base 18 to go to the sewer output 27. This stage continues for up to 4 minutes, equating to 24 litres of water with the shower pump 30 running at 6 liters per minute. Towards the end of the 4 minute wash stage a timed countdown is used to alert the user via a mode indicia 15, typically a buzzer, that the wash stage is about to finish
  • The last stage of the shower is the luxuriating stage in which the user may simply stand and enjoy the shower. During this stage the drain valve 26 is set to return the water reaching the shower base 18 to the main tank 40 via recycling pump 3 and filter 52. The remaining 12 litres of the original 36 litres of water in the main tank 40 will continue to recycle through the system as long as the user remains in the shower. No further water is used. The water being recycled will maintain approximately 40% of its heat, thus reducing the amount of energy required by the hot water service 50 to bring the water to the desired temperature.
  • When a user has finished the shower, the remaining 12 litres of water is pumped by the reuse pump 34 from the main tank 40 via reuse valve 22 to the reuse tank 44. Water from the reuse tank 44 can then be pumped out by output pump 36 when desired to be reused for purposes such as flushing a toilet, watering a garden or first wash in a washing machine.
  • If a user finishes the shower before the luxuriating stage the shower pump 30 is stopped and the main tank 40 is filled from the water supply input 20 in preparation for the next shower.
  • During the recycling stages the water is sterilized by an ultraviolet sterilizer 54 before returning to the main tank 40 to ensure hygiene and compliance with water storage regulations.
  • In a second embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 2 the main tank T1 is replaced by a smaller main tank 41 and an auxiliary tank 42. This configuration allows a quicker turnaround time between two users. At the end of a shower utilizing the first embodiment a subsequent user could not begin their shower until the recycled water was pumped from the main tank 40 to the reuse tank 44.
  • Prior to showering the main tank 41 and the auxiliary tank 42 are both filled with 12 litres of fresh water from the water supply input 20 via solenoid main input valve 21 and auxiliary input valve 23. During the startup and wash phases water is first used from the main tank 41 via main output valve 24. When the main tank 41 is almost empty main output valve 24 is closed and auxiliary output valve 25 is opened so that water is used from the auxiliary tank 42. Whilst the auxiliary tank 42 is being emptied, the main tank 41 is refilled. When the auxiliary tank 42 is emptied the luxuriating stage will commence with water being used from and recycled to the main tank 41 whilst the auxiliary tank 42 is refilled ready for the next user. At the completion of the first shower the recycled water is pumped from main tank 41 to the reuse tank 44, meanwhile a second shower can be commenced using water from the auxiliary tank 42.
  • The reader will now appreciate the advantages of the present invention. A user is able to have a shower of any duration and only use a finite amount of water, some of which is made available for reuse. Energy is also saved in comparison to a conventional shower.
  • Further advantages and improvements may very well be made to the present invention without deviating from its scope. Although the invention has been shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope and spirit of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus. Any discussion of the prior art throughout the specification should in no way be considered as an admission that such prior art is widely known or forms part of the common general knowledge in this field.
  • In the summary of the invention, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word “comprising” is used in the sense of “including”, i.e. the features specified may be associated with further features in various embodiments of the invention.

Claims (12)

1. A showering system comprising a first tank, a first and second pump, a water heater, a shower head, a shower base and a valve; wherein water for a shower is stored in the first tank from which it is pumped via the first pump through the water heater to the shower head whence from the water falls to the shower base and passes to the valve from which the water is either discharged to a sewer or pumped via the second pump back to the first tank.
2. A showering system as in claim 1, wherein a shower is conducted in a first, second and third stage; wherein during the first stage the water is returned from the valve to the first tank via the second pump; during the second stage the water is discharged from the valve to the sewer; and during the third stage the water is returned from the valve to the first tank via the second pump.
3. A showering system as in claim 2, wherein the shower transitions from the second stage to the third stage when a preset volume of water has been pumped from the first tank.
4. A showering system as in claim 2, wherein the shower transitions from the first stage to the second stage in response to an action from a user of the shower.
5. A showering system as in claim 2, wherein the shower transitions from the first stage to the second stage when the water temperature reaches a preset level.
6. A showering system as in claim 2, wherein the shower transitions from the first stage to the second stage when a preset time has elapsed
7. A showering system as in claim 1, further comprising a third pump and a second tank wherein at the completion of the shower the remaining water in the first tank is pumped to the second tank via the third pump.
8. A showering system as in claim 7, further comprising a third tank in which water for the shower is stored; wherein water to the first pump can come from either the first tank or the third tank.
9. A showering system as in claim 8, wherein water may be taken simultaneously from the first tank by the third pump and from the third tank by the first pump
10. A showering system as in claim 1, wherein the water returned from the valve to the first tank is sterilized.
11. A method for showering comprising the steps of; filling a first tank with a preset volume of water; pumping the water to a shower head, collecting the water from a shower base and returning the water to the first tank; pumping the water to a shower head, collecting the water from the shower base and discharging the water to a drain; and, pumping the water to a shower head, collecting the water from a shower base and returning the water to the first tank.
12. A method of showering as in claim 11, comprising a further step of pumping the water from the first tank to a second tank for recycling.
US13/032,498 2010-05-28 2011-02-22 System and method for showering with fixed parameter water usage Abandoned US20110289672A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AUAU2010902354 2010-05-28
AU2010902354A AU2010902354A0 (en) 2010-05-28 An automatic showering system with fixed parameter fresh water usage and the recycling of used shower water for washing, toilet flushing and laundry use

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
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AU (1) AU2011200412A1 (en)
NZ (1) NZ591320A (en)

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN102828547A (en) * 2012-09-11 2012-12-19 西北工业大学 Water power based recycling device for shower wastewater and heat energy
US20160258136A1 (en) * 2013-11-14 2016-09-08 Bio-Microbics, Inc. Modular electrical appliance which reuses greywater
WO2017111600A1 (en) * 2015-12-23 2017-06-29 Hamwells Holding B.V. Shower
WO2018097790A1 (en) * 2016-11-25 2018-05-31 Orbital Systems Ab A method for recycling water and a water recycling device
WO2018169472A1 (en) * 2017-03-15 2018-09-20 Orbital Systems Ab A system for water recirculation with a reference water determining arra and method for adjusting a temperature of water in such a system
GB2570568A (en) * 2017-12-13 2019-07-31 Pendlebury Leonard Environmentally-friendly water recycling system
WO2020112002A1 (en) * 2018-11-28 2020-06-04 Orbital Systems Ab Water distribution unit for water recirculation systems
WO2019191789A3 (en) * 2018-03-26 2020-07-02 Mare Jeremias Jesajas Jacobus Washing unit

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4828709A (en) * 1987-08-17 1989-05-09 Houser Jack L Recirculating shower using limited water supply
US4984314A (en) * 1986-01-22 1991-01-15 Water-Matic Corporation Automatic fluid-flow control system
US5293654A (en) * 1991-11-22 1994-03-15 Aktiebolaget Electrolux Energy and water saving shower assembly
US6286764B1 (en) * 1999-07-14 2001-09-11 Edward C. Garvey Fluid and gas supply system
US6314590B1 (en) * 1998-04-21 2001-11-13 Kok Wing Lee Drainage device
US6481028B1 (en) * 2001-06-22 2002-11-19 Chih-Yu Hsia Shower and bath and shower stalls that have pumps

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4984314A (en) * 1986-01-22 1991-01-15 Water-Matic Corporation Automatic fluid-flow control system
US4828709A (en) * 1987-08-17 1989-05-09 Houser Jack L Recirculating shower using limited water supply
US5293654A (en) * 1991-11-22 1994-03-15 Aktiebolaget Electrolux Energy and water saving shower assembly
US6314590B1 (en) * 1998-04-21 2001-11-13 Kok Wing Lee Drainage device
US6286764B1 (en) * 1999-07-14 2001-09-11 Edward C. Garvey Fluid and gas supply system
US6481028B1 (en) * 2001-06-22 2002-11-19 Chih-Yu Hsia Shower and bath and shower stalls that have pumps

Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN102828547A (en) * 2012-09-11 2012-12-19 西北工业大学 Water power based recycling device for shower wastewater and heat energy
US20160258136A1 (en) * 2013-11-14 2016-09-08 Bio-Microbics, Inc. Modular electrical appliance which reuses greywater
US10538901B2 (en) * 2013-11-14 2020-01-21 Biomicrobics, Inc. Modular electrical appliance which reuses greywater
WO2017111600A1 (en) * 2015-12-23 2017-06-29 Hamwells Holding B.V. Shower
NL2016021B1 (en) * 2015-12-23 2017-07-05 Hamwells Holding B V Shower.
WO2018097790A1 (en) * 2016-11-25 2018-05-31 Orbital Systems Ab A method for recycling water and a water recycling device
US10947705B2 (en) 2016-11-25 2021-03-16 Orbital Systems Ab Method for recycling water and a water recycling device
WO2018169472A1 (en) * 2017-03-15 2018-09-20 Orbital Systems Ab A system for water recirculation with a reference water determining arra and method for adjusting a temperature of water in such a system
GB2570568A (en) * 2017-12-13 2019-07-31 Pendlebury Leonard Environmentally-friendly water recycling system
WO2019191789A3 (en) * 2018-03-26 2020-07-02 Mare Jeremias Jesajas Jacobus Washing unit
WO2020112002A1 (en) * 2018-11-28 2020-06-04 Orbital Systems Ab Water distribution unit for water recirculation systems

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Publication number Publication date
AU2011200412A1 (en) 2011-12-15
NZ591320A (en) 2011-06-30

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