Joulia started life as a Creaholic incubation project. Our idea was to massively reduce the energy requirements for showers by recovering thermal energy from the warm waste water and using it to preheat the incoming cold water. The result is a reduction of more than 40% in the energy needed to take a shower. Joulia SA was spun off in July 2010 to commercialize the product.
In a modern home the energy use for producing warm water is almost the same as for heating the whole building. And around 50-80% of the total hot water usage is for taking showers, where it goes straight down the drain. Low-flow showerheads can help, but many people don’t like them, and there are many commercial situations (hotels, spas, sports facilities) where energy efficiency is desired but a low-flow showerhead is inappropriate.
To build a product that fulfils a whole set of interrelated criteria, including:
⦁ High-efficiency energy recovery
⦁ Attractive design that fits different decors
⦁ Small dimensions
⦁ Ease of installation
⦁ Ease of cleaning
⦁ Conformation to relevant regulations (for connection to drinking water network)
⦁ Appropriate price, so that the cost can be amortized in an acceptable time
The first product was a shower tray with a heat exchanger integrated into the floor. It launched in 2012. Due to market response and feedback we developed a second technology, first presented 2014 and launched in 2016. This second-generation technology is a heat exchanger module that can be integrated into the shower drain channel, or sold to other sanitary OEMs to use in their own products.
The first product generated a lot of attention in the media world; Joulia won several prices including the 2013 “Watt d’Or” prize given by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.
Even before its official launch, the Joulia-Inline product won the 2015/2016 Design Prize Switzerland. Global sanitary companies, including Laufen Bathrooms and Duscholux, have decided to implement the Joulia-Inline technology in their products.
Joulia shower trays are installed in high-profile locations, including the Swiss tennis training center and the Matterhorn base camp (“Hörnlihütte”). The world’s first autarkic apartment building, in Brütten, Switzerland, will use the Joulia-Inline shower drains to help it reach its goal of zero net energy usage.