Hotspot gadget hits the mark

HOT ITEM: Sandiswa Qayi with the ‘Hotspot’ that only gets hot water from your geyser when you need it, saving money Picture: THANDEKA NTLONTI

Sandiswa invents hot geyser item

EAST London innovator Sandiswa Qayi has found the solution to reducing the energy a hot water geyser uses, which in turn can save you money.

Her innovation, called the “Hotspot”, is a geyser energy-saving contraption that heats water when one needs it

This invention takes the form of a silicon sleeve which is fitted into the geyser and over the element to heat water in the tank more efficiently.

“What the Hotspot does is it allows the hot water to rise to the top of the geyser while the cold water settles at the bottom. It then allows for the geyser to operate like a kettle to heat water when it is needed,” Qayi explained.

What prompted the discussion of developing the Hotspot, between herself and her business partners at Amahlathi Eco-tech, where she is the managing director, was the frustration of continuously switching the geyser on and off when trying to save electricity.

“I was one of those people who used to switch the geyser on and off because I wanted to reduce my electricity bill. I used to wake up at 4.30am to switch my geyser on to have hot water at 6.30,” Qayi said.

She said when a geyser was switched off and on again to restore heat to the water, it would consume the same amount of energy to restore the water to usable heat.

“Switching a geyser on and off like many people do, only affects an electricity bill on a certain kind of geyser and only when done during strategic times during the day,” she added.

The Hotspot project has been piloted in several households around the Eastern Cape and has since been incubated by the Grassroots Innovation programme, which is an initiative by the Department of the Science and Technology’s (DST) Technology Localisation and Implementation Unit (TLIU) and incubated by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The CSIR, a subsidiary of the DST, nurtures the development of business of aspiring innovators through incubator programmes.

The CSIR places major focus on its Grassroots Innovation Programme through its Technology Localisation Implementation Unit (TLIU), which seeks to unearth rural innovators who will then be incubated into programmes to develop their innovation into a business.

If you would like to know when you can get your hands on one of these handy gadgets and start saving money, it might be a while.

“I cannot confirm as yet when The Hotspot will be ready for distribution but we are hoping it will be some time in August or September. We are pushing for it to be available as soon as possible,“ Qayi said.

The hotspot will be available at various independent stores, like Cashbuild and Builders Warehouse.

“The response from some of the households in Dimbaza was very positive. The only problem now is that 90% of the households [in Dimbaza] do not have geysers and that is another issue we will have to sit down with the municipality with to tackle it,” she concluded.

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