75. TOTO EcoPower Technology
TOTO has harnessed the use of water as a power source with its revolutionary EcoPower technology, by converting potential energy into kinetic energy that is stored in a series of capacitors to power the system. TOTO’s unique line of electronic EcoPower high-efficiency sensor faucets, high-efficiency sensor flushometer valves, and shower lighting systems use this patented, one-of-a-kind technology as their power source – greatly reducing maintenance costs and toxic battery waste, which helps protect the environment.
Engineered to require no electricity or routine battery replacement, EcoPower products are the perfect marriage of hands-free operation, low maintenance, easy installation and ecology. SELF-SUSTAINING HIGH-EFFICIENCY SENSOR FAUCETS EcoPower high-efficiency sensor faucets power themselves with the flow of water to provide ecological and economical returns on investment. No changing batteries that end up in landfills and automatic water shut-off functionality to reduce waste results in a solution that’s perfect for the environment. EcoPower replenishes its charge with as few as 5 uses a day and is optimized at a mere 10 uses per day. Available in a range of elegant styles, EcoPower high-efficiency faucets conserve water, too. Their predetermined .19-gpm discharge per 10- second cycle easily exceeds the federal standard for low-flow water consumption. However, because the average use-cycle is less than 10 seconds, EcoPower’s estimated water discharge per user is closer to 0.1 gallons. Additionally, EcoPower’s sensor angles down into the lavatory bowl, making it virtually impossible to fool -- even when standing in front of it. No water is discharged until hands are actually placed in the water stream’s path, and the water flow stops almost immediately once the hands are removed. EcoPower faucets discharge only the water users actually need. SELF-SUSTAINING FLUSHOMETER VALVES EcoPower sensor flush valves save energy and provide maximum performance in even the most demanding, high-traffic commercial spaces. TOTO EcoPower flush valves offer easy installation without the cost and downtime required to install power supplies and wiring for each valve. With EcoPower, a water-powered turbine charges the power supply during usage, eliminating the need for battery replacement and excessive waste. TOTO’s piston valve technology is a marked improvement over traditional rubber diaphragm-type valves, and a self-cleaning 360° debris screen reduces common problems such as continuous running and flooding, significantly reducing maintenance costs as well as water waste. The advanced hands-free technology ensures a clean and sanitary bathroom and also a powerful conservation solution. When combined with a TOTO urinal (0.5 GPF) or commercial toilet (1.28 GPF or less), EcoPower systems provide unrivaled performance and up to 80% water savings. SELF-SUSTAINING SHOWER LIGHTING SYSTEMS A primary example of TOTO’s People-First Innovation philosophy, which addresses design advances in both aesthetics and engineering, TOTO’s Overhead Rain Showers with the EcoPower Lighting System offer a luxurious showering experience, even at lower water pressures. Their LED lighting system is powered by TOTO’s proprietary EcoPower technology, which uses the kinetic energy of flowing water to power its electronics. Gentle on the eyes and enhancing to skin tones, its LED glows with the natural color of candlelight. To ensure that bathers experience uninterrupted showering pleasure—without the fear of drastic water temperature changes or scalding—the system incorporates TOTO’s Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) valves. Unlike other rain showerheads, they feature the complete water cessation when turned off — no residual water loss through drips or leaking, no staining or scaling.
Why it should be recognized:
By harnessing water as a power source, TOTO’s EcoPower Technology generates the power needed to power the electronics of its sustainable products, which eliminates routine disposable battery replacement and the toxic battery waste generated, which helps protect the environment. In addition, they do not require hard wiring, which reduces installation costs and saves electrical energy. Finally, these high-efficiency products save water, without sacrificing an ounce of performance.
Submitted: Jan 30, 2013
Author: Lenora Campos, Ph.D.
  • Invention & Innovation (Human Systems)
  • Energy (Resources)
  • Water (Resources)
  • Invention & Innovation (Human Systems)
  • Operations (Enterprise)
  • Infrastructure (Regional)
  • Energy Capture, Transport, Storage (Planetary System)
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