Localised Water Heating

A New Zealand Research Commercialisation Success Story

Researchers at the University of Waikato have discovered a unique new use for supercapacitors, which are an emerging energy storage technology that may one day super cede conventional batteries.

A supercapacitor-assisted device has been created to instantly heat water, the first application for which will be in domestic households to eliminate the 20-60 second delay for hot water when taps are turned on.

The solution is designed to heat the cold water stored in pipes (which would otherwise be flushed down the sink), until hot water from the central heating system arrives.

This technology is not only expected to conserve water but it will also allow home builders and plumbers to overcome increasingly tough standards for domestic water heating.

Future applications could be anywhere there are hot water delays, it's impractical/inefficient to store hot water, or temperatures are too low for rapid heating.

A proposal from WaikatoLink for PreSeed to support this project was approved by the KiwiNet Investment Committee – WaikatoLink are now on track to take this technology to market with a commercial partner in the global water heating solutions space.

With the Kiwi Innovation Network we have an exciting opportunity to develop strong relationships with the current and future partners... This new found scale and breadth of expertise across new sectors, regions, and networks makes KiwiNet a significant and distinct player internationally, something as a small entity in a small region distant from major markets we could not have achieved.
Duncan Mackintosh – CEO, WaikatoLink Ltd, the commercialisation office of the University of Waikato