Plumbing has come a long way since the days of the Roman aqueducts and the first sewer systems. Where the ancients used running water impelled by the simple mechanisms of gravity and architectural design, the present era is enjoying the benefits of materials science, heavy-duty pumps, and state-of-the-art filtration systems to ensure that the water that reaches modern households is of a quality and cleanliness unmatched by any other point in history.
The development of technology can be seen as gradual access to increasingly more efficient power sources for an ever-lower cost per unit of energy. From human kinetic power, human technology has progressed to the use of animal, water, wood, and coal power, culminating in the oil-driven civilization of the present age. Plumbing systems such as those maintained by Saskatoon plumbing firms like Perfection Plumbing aren’t exempt from this evolution, as modern water distribution depends upon an intricately connected network of technologies almost fully dependent on petroleum-powered engines.
In a column for Plumbing Engineer, Winston Huff underscored the continued forward march of the search for technology that allows for greater energy savings:
“Some energy-efficient technologies are the holy grail of the plumbing industry. These technologies would allow a building to be a comfortable, safe place to live or work while using only the energy it generates, with no connections to the utility grid.”
Indeed, the trend in the modern plumbing industry is towards less production costs for water companies as well as greater utility savings for end-users. Saskatoon plumbers, for instance, aim towards increased longevity and durability of residential plumbing systems through regular maintenance and replacement of components, which translates to larger savings in the long term since energy-consuming problems like leaks are avoided.
Among the most active areas of research highlighted in Huff’s column are in the realms of photovoltaics, solar thermal systems, solar air conditioning, and heat pump water heaters. Further refinement of these innovations can lead to the pinnacle of plumbing technology: a self-contained unit, independent from the power grid, that is installed on the roof of a structure and provides all of the building’s hot and chilled water needs.
While R&D specialists are working hard towards the development and widespread deployment of plumbing energy technologies that can drastically improve efficiency and lower per energy unit costs, consumers can cut down on costs by asking their neighbourhood plumbing professional about practical energy-saving measures.
(Source: Energy-efficient plumbing technologies of the future, Plumbing Engineer)