Developing a Wireless Device for Monitoring Water Usage for Hotel Showers

EPA Grant Number: SU835935
Title: Developing a Wireless Device for Monitoring Water Usage for Hotel Showers
Investigators: Johannes, Tyler
Institution: University of Tulsa
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: II
Project Period: October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2017
Project Amount: $74,999
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2015) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , P3 Awards , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Water

Objective:

Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world. Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result, millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests. The proposed work aims to develop a commercially viable wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers. This device will be based on the prototype design developed during Phase 1 and will be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and will wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system.

Approach:

The proposed wireless device will have three main components: a flow meter, an embedded system and software, and a resource accounting system. This technology will provide hotel guests with the ability to monitor their daily water online or using a smartphone app, and will assist hotel guest in modifying their behavior to help conserve water. Further, literature and information will be developed in the form of a handout that can be placed in each room to inform the guest of the benefits of water conservation. The proposed wireless device will be marketed to the hotel industry to reduce costs by promoting water conservation among hotel guests. An interdisciplinary team of undergraduate students from chemical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and management and marketing will work in a collaborative effort to build and test a prototype device, and explore the market potential of the wireless device.

Expected Results:

It is anticipated that this project will provide a low cost, accurate, small size, low power, wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel showers. The primary goals of this Phase 2 project are to add energy harvesting capabilities to the device, reduce the unit cost of the device, implement the backend and smartphone app software, and development of a complete business plan for the technology.

Supplemental Keywords:

Water conservation, Urban water planning, Sustainable water management

Relevant Websites:

P3 Phase 1:  Developing a Wireless Device for Monitoring Water Usage for Hotel Showers


P3 Phase I:

Developing a Wireless Device for Monitoring Water Usage for Hotel Showers