Descripción del proyecto
SunShower is a product developed by Auckland company S.P.U.D. Limited (Special Projects Under Development). In 2002, S.P.U.D. Directors Richard and Janice Gourley commissioned an Auckland architect to build a prototype of a small concept beach house on their property at Whiritoa on the Coromandel Peninsular. The design was to incorporate an indoor/outdoor living flow, and be aesthetic and self sufficient – the thought being that when you are at the beach you want to be living as economically, environmentally, and efficiently as possible. [Más información]
Prior to the house being built, Richard had been experimenting with various bits and bobs on the property to construct a solar outdoor shower suitable for not only washing off sand when coming in from the beach, but also with full temperature control and constant water flow that the “black bag” showers did not provide. The concept included a continuous black hose, and was based around the garden hose that lies in the sun all day, and delivers hot water when turned on. Of course you never could tell how hot the water was going to be - a mixer addressed that problem. The initial contraption worked well, and when the house was completed Richard started looking at how to make the shower a permanent fixture and, potentially, a product to sell. Because permanent and compliant water piping had to be used, as well as a quality mixer and shower rose, it was felt that for the cost, the product had to offer more than a functional purpose. It needed to be resilient, high quality, and able to colour match to individual houses if it was to have commercial appeal. It would need to be perceived as a fixture that would add value to a property. Fosters Spars in Auckland was approached with drawings and dimensions to use one of their aluminum extrusion profiles as the masts for a SunShower prototype. These had to be big enough to house and conceal the latticework of plumbing needed for a waterflow design that provided for up to 28 litres of hot water to be stored. Finding a compliant black pipe plumbing system proved difficult, and in the end a Rehau system was chosen as not only was it black, but the brass compression sleeves are easy to assemble, guaranteed, and also provided a high level of permanence and durability in a salt air environment. Suntuf polycarbonate had been used in early prototypes for the external cladding. This did the job of protecting the pipes from the wind and trapping the heat in, but when the SunShower was full, the volume of water made everything “droop” under the weight. Various cladding options were investigated including Perspex and safety glass, but they lacked visual appeal, especially the corrugated effect that looked so attractive with the Suntuf. In April 2005 Richard went to the Designex show in Melbourne and at the Degussa stand found the answer – clear corrugated PLEXIGLAS®. Even better, there was also a product with a reflective coating to deflect heat – PLEXIGLAS® Heatstop. With the reflective side of the PLEXIGLAS® Heatstop facing inwards towards the water pipes, it meant that the sun reflected onto the side of the pipes not facing the sun, thus heated them from both sides. The opaque white side when faced outwards gave a highly attractive and contemporary finish. Because of the rigidity of the PlexiGlas, it also acts as a brace to hold the whole unit together, eliminating the unfortunate polycarbonate droop of the prototype. With pipes sandwiched between clear corrugated PLEXIGLAS® on one side (the side facing the sun), and PLEXIGLAS® Heatstop on the other, the SunShower not only looked good, it provided a privacy screen, and it worked! Several prototypes have since been built, each powder coated in a different colour. In January 2006 market research was conducted by way of a small space advertisement featuring a photo and a web address. Hits have come from around the globe, and feedback reinforces our belief that this product has potential in not only contemporary domestic dwellings, but also tropical resorts and remote locations without electricity. All the materials used are of high quality and long lasting in these environments, and nothing similar is available that we can find. In March 2006 the SunShower was awarded a Trade and Enterprise development grant for patent and trademarks.
Sector comercial / Profesión
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