Runner-up: Green Technology Innovations
Heating water uses up to 32% of home energy, and roughly 27% of household water passes through these water heaters. Under the direction of Dr Thinus Booysen, a senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University, the Smart Geyser project aims to reduce geyser energy and water use by at least 30%.
“We have developed a smart geyser controller that gives remote access to your geyser through a mobile device or PC,” explains Thinus. “Also, it analyses your consumption patterns, recommends and applies optimised control schedules, gives water and energy costs in rands for each bath or shower taken, and controls the water temperature. It also mitigates a burst through shutting off the water supply when a burst is detected.”
The project was developed in the MTN-funded Mobile Intelligence Lab at Stellenbosch University’s electronic engineering department, and further developed with Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) seed funds.
Additional funding has come from the Water Research Council for a pilot rollout of 300 units in Mpumalanga. The company BridgIOT (Bridge to the Internet of Things) was spun off with Innovus, the university’s industry interaction and innovation company, to take the Smart Geyser project further.
“Ultimately, we are working to change a dumb geyser into a smart home device that informs and empowers the consumer,” adds Booysen. “This shall have long term effects on South Africa’s energy and water consumption.”