A simple snap-on retrofit device could reduce energy bills for millions of households across the globe.
The Jul Bujh is a geyser controller that works through a smartphone and promises to reduce the energy consumption of old gas boilers by between 20 and 40%. The developers are initially targeting consumers in Pakistan, and believe they could reduce monthly hot water bills for people in the country by $20 (£12.40) every month.
Developers Zaheen Machines say they are initially focusing on the Pakistan market because the first version of the controller fits on a gas boiler model that is very common in the country, and estimates that there are five million of these boilers in Pakistan alone. If it can successfully install the Jul Bujh on all of these boilers, it will have reduced the country’s gas consumption by $100 million (£62 million) every month and have taken a significant chunk out of its greenhouse gas emissions.
And its energy-saving potential doesn’t just end in the boiler – the controller has also been specifically designed to run on as little power as possible. Just two AA batteries should keep the processor working for up to 18 months, while another two batteries that power the motor should run throughout the winter.
The device connects to a boiler’s thermostat and allows users to control their hot water settings through a smartphone app, so that the water heater does not have to heat hot water throughout the day, and can ensure that there is hot water when it is needed, such as in the mornings.
This boiler controller can be fitted to a huge range of makes and models – the developers have used it on a legacy water heater from the 1950s – making old, inefficient water heaters substantially greener and more economical. Installing the Jul Bujh takes less than five minutes, and using it is as simple as a wipe of a smartphone screen.
Zaheen Machines has already fitted the controller to 20 boilers as part of a test-run, and is collaborating with gas company SNGPL to fit a further 5,000 controllers for the firm’s customers. These installations will be paid for through instalments on the recipients’ gas bills.
It is now seeking a relatively-modest $35,000 (£21,700) through crowd-funding website IndieGogo in a campaign that concludes on November 6th. Prices for the Jul Bujh start at just $60 (£37). At the time of shipment, the apps required to run the controller will be available on both Android and iOS platforms.
Should all go according to plan, the Jul Bujh will become available in normal retail outlets in the near future, and will have its design tweaked to make it perfect for a wide range of boilers.