Kelda Technology unveils their latest ‘air-powered’ showers designed to exceed future home standards
Those involved with the construction of new build dwellings will be familiar with Part L of the Building Regulations. This approved document sets the standards for the energy performance of both new and existing buildings.
With the introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025 the energy requirements in Part L are being progressively ramped up to ensure that new build homes are future-proofed with low carbon heating, micro-generation devices and world-leading levels of energy efficiency. Reducing energy use, embodied carbon and water consumption remains high on the government’s agenda and is seen as a vital first step to ensure the construction industry can deliver the significant reductions necessary by 2030 in order to have a realistic prospect of achieving net zero carbon for the whole UK building stock by 2050.
Hot water demand in a future home
Improvements in fabric efficiency will no doubt help future homes to save significant levels of energy, however, the demands of the householders remain unchanged. For example, in the case of a super-insulated dwelling Domestic Hot Water (DHW) requirements will be the same as a traditional-built dwelling e.g. similar number of occupants with the same water-use behaviour i.e. showering. This presents an interesting shift in household energy demand. As building efficiency improves so the percentage share of energy attributed to hot water will increase, potentially making hot water generation in Future Homes the largest portion of the household energy budget.
It is therefore important that in addition to Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), ‘Clean Growth’ technologies such as high-efficiency showers, should be considered to help achieve future EPC targets.
The future role of showers
In an average house hot water use accounts for 23% of the total energy use. According to the Energy Savings Trust 50% of the generated hot water cost is attributed to showering – making showers alone responsible for 11.5% of the overall energy use. In a ‘super-insulated’ dwelling, hot water use has been calculated to be as much as 49% of the total energy use.
In addition to the tightening of energy requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations, there is a requirement for housebuilders to comply with Part G, specifically G2 concerning water efficiency.
For showers to meet Part G2 there is a ‘maximum consumption’ or ‘flow rate’ requirement of 10 litres/minute (to meet the standard ‘notional’ level of 125 litres/person/day) or 8 litres/minute (optional ‘higher’ level of 110 litres/person/day).
In a domestic refurbishment where the ‘Wat 01’ water calculator is used Kelda’s air-powered showers operating at less than 6 litres/minute exceed conformity and achieve the highest BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard – without compromising on showering quality.
Using less water is not only a key requirement for compliance but also offers additional benefits:
- Space heating – allows the specification of a smaller hot water cylinder – a key consideration when using heat pumps where 200-litre capacity is now commonplace.
- BREEAM status: Together with other bathroom fittings specified to ‘Excellent’ and WC room, kitchen and utility room fittings specified to ‘Good’ Kelda showers can help minimise the dwelling consumption of potable water to less than 96 litres/person/day – scoring maximum credits and achieving BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ standard.
- New build “infrastructure” discount: In response to water scarcity water companies, such as Anglian Water, are incentivising developers, up to £740 per plot, to build new houses to a water efficiency standard of 100 litres/person/day (10 litres below the optional ‘higher’ level).
Kelda Technology ‘air-powered’ showers
Kelda Technology are the inventors of ‘air-powered’ showers designed and manufactured in the UK. Their patented technology exceeds the 2030 Climate Challenge – capable of providing an energising shower experience from below 6 litres/minute.
Over the last four years their innovative showers have been have been vigorously tried and tested in the most demanding real-life environments to ensure they can withstand the pressures of high usage, for example, in the prestigious London Aquatics Centre where mega-litres (millions of litres) of water is used annually. In every installation Kelda’s air-powered showers have proven to reduce water consumption, energy costs and carbon emissions. Equally important there has been 100% user acceptance from members to verify that it is possible to provide a good showering experience at low flow rates.
Kelda Technology’s air-powered shower technology may seem new, but it is the result of over 10 years of development – drawn from cutting-edge aerospace and automotive engineering. In 2013 Kelda were awarded funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (now BEIS) via the Carbon Trust and Energy Entrepreneurs Fund to help take the concept into production.
Today, Kelda has a number of global patents and patent applications protecting its technology and are one of very few companies in the world focused on reducing water consumption through shower design.
The Shower. Reinvented.
Satisfaction from showering is not merely about how much water. It is also about the pressure of the water from the showerhead. Kelda call this the ‘effective spray force’ and this is where the Kelda shower is so unique.
Conventional ‘aerating’ showers use the Venturi principle to restrict flow and draw atmospheric air into the water through a small hole in the showerhead. This aerates the water to change the ‘feel’ of the shower but has no measurable boost in performance. It is completely reliant on the water pressure and in low pressure sites with low flow rates of less than 6 l/min there is almost no aeration – therefore little or no benefit.
In contrast, Kelda’s patented air-powered showers use the principles of gas turbine fuel injection technology. In simple terms, each shower features an intelligent microprocessor and powerful digital fan which controls the delivery of water and air to the showerhead. Within the showerhead, air is propelled through an array of jet-type nozzles forming a low resistance air stream. The laminar water is injected into the air where it accelerates and breaks up into the perfect size droplets (larger droplets are better at retaining heat). Thanks to the low resistance air stream each droplet is able to travel further with more momentum to deliver an increased effective spray force.
The result is the world’s most efficient shower providing an invigorating shower experience that increases the effective spray force by a factor of two. Unlike aerating showers, air-powered showers are perfect for low pressure sites as the force of the water is dependent on the fan speed and not the water pressure to the building. In the real world, this means a Kelda shower at 5 l/min will feel like a conventional shower running at 10 litres/minute, and in terms of Part G of the Building Regulations – a shower which uses 50% less water without compromising experience or quality.
Kelda’s air-powered technology is also safer too. An independent study by the University of Southampton has demonstrated that the spray from a Kelda shower contains much fewer aerosols of a respirable size, compared to an aerating shower, offering an increased level of safety in relation to the transmission of waterborne infections such as Legionnaires’ disease.
Kelda’s latest range of air-powered showers are proven to provide an invigorating shower experience at flow rates as low as 4, 5 and 6 litres per minute. Specifying Kelda showers will significantly help to reduce a dwelling’s water usage and energy consumption. And, in turn assist in reducing carbon emissions.
- Cost effective solution to reducing primary energy – reduces DER and DPER
- Exceeds Part G Compliance – significantly reduces water consumption to exceed the highest standards
- Eligible for a water efficiency discount – up to £740 per plot (depending on water company)
- Reduced running costs – delivers lifetime annual savings of up to 12.25% off the household energy bill
- Suitable for all dwellings – designed for new build and retro-fit houses and apartments
- Can help reduce build cost and space – allows for smaller hot water cylinders to be specified
- Simple installation – comparative to a power shower
- Contributes towards a major reduction in DHW load
- Provides flexibility of other fittings to meet compliance
- TMV2 approved thermostatic mixer – provides safe hot water temperatures and prevents scalding
- Meets water supply (water fittings) regulations
- 2 year part and labour guarantee
- Less maintenance – larger nozzles are less resistant to limescale build-up and blocking
- Simple to use – technology is hidden in panel
- Modern shower panel design – featuring white glass
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For more information, please contact:
Paul RAVNBO-WEST | Marketing Director