Drainpipe Heat Exchanger

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The product is called Drainergy. Its purpose is to substantially reduce the enormous waste of money and energy that results when our used hot water drains daily from buildings and homes into the sewer.

Drainergy is a low-cost, absolutely safe, drainpipe heat exchanger that recycles normally wasted heat energy. It is able to pass all wastewater and contained solids from all fixtures and appliances.

Benefits include reduced cost of living from lower energy use and peak demand. This frees up money for discretionary spending to support economic growth.

Side benefits include: reduced direct warming of waterways and the environment; reduced pollution; and, more hot water from the same water heater because warm water gets to a hot temperature faster than cold water.

Current designs are not in widespread (and hardly even known about) in spite of some 30 years on the market. Their cost-effectiveness suffers from too much expensive copper that is inefficiently used. As well there are severe installation restrictions (i.e., no horizontal use).

Drainergy fits into the plumbing system of homes and buildings. Wherever domestic/service hot water is used and discarded through a drainpipe, a Drainergy can bring its benefits

Most buildings and homes could benefit from the cost saving and from the increased hot water supply. There are approximately 100 million such buildings in North America.

Operation. Warmer drain water flowing through a Drainergy transfers its heat through the wall of a copper drainpipe into cold water flowing through a sealed outer jacket clamped around the drainpipe. The now-heated cold water feeds a water heater or a faucet.

There are two versions for horizontal or vertical drains. They are made mostly from standard plastic tube/pipe with some sheet copper and an O-ring. Materials are slit/cut and cold formed using standard fabrication tools such as saws and rolls. The pieces assemble simply by snapping together using appropriate adhesives and clamps.

We estimate that a Drainergy can be produced at less than half the price of existing designs and provide better heat transfer, all of which yields a faster return on investment.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Winston Mackelvie
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Inventor
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    never
  • Winston's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Mac computer. iPad. Drawing software
  • Winston's hobbies and activities:
    Music. Cars. Computers
  • Winston belongs to these online communities:
    Facebook, Linkedin
  • Winston is inspired by:
    Frustration at inefficiency
  • Software used for this entry:
    iPhone camera, Pages, Adobe Illustrator
  • Patent status:
    pending