A water-saving invention which its Doncaster-based creators say has the potential to change the world hits the market this week.
The Drenched Volumiser is a simple device which fits onto a tap. It transforms water into an ultra-fine molecular mist which warms on contact with air and skin, saving not only water, but energy and money too.
It means users can wash their hands in just three tablespoons of water - a fraction of the amount normally used - and will be launched nationwide to the commercial marketplace via control solutions specialist Crompton Controls and suppliers Universal Office Products and Diamond Industrial this week.
As the world faces an ongoing water shortage, the potential of the gadget priced at just £9.99 is game-changing.
Small wonder the Drenched team, which operates from Doncaster International Airport Complex, won the technical enterprise award in the national Pitch@Palace final in late 2016, where it was not only viewed by HM the Queen, but was trialled in one of her palace taps.
Yet its inventor, Yorkshireman Wes Sugden-Brook, reveals his creation is all down to a spot of gardening with his wife and two children.
“Afterwards we needed to wash our dirty hands,” says Wes, who as a mechanical engineer helped major UK manufacturers to develop energy efficiency and green technologies.
The 39-year-old picked up the hosepipe, turned the nozzle setting to mist and as the grime disappeared, he had a Eureka moment.
“It cleaned our hands really effectively. Something clicked in my head about surface area and physics,” he says.
Enthused after watching an internet TED Talk, non-profit-making information-sharing by experts and inventors in the fields of technology, entertainment and design, he decided to invent a water-saving device.
That night, as his children Darcie, now 10, and Charlie, 7, slept, he disappeared into the garage at his home near Selby. His quest became an obsession; he spent night after night, tinkering and perfecting, and within weeks had produced revolutionary new nozzle technology with huge water-saving potential - all through good old-fashioned engineering and a method he christened Basicology.
“I took it back to basics; de-engineered and made the product as simple as possible. My kids were a big part of the design process. Young minds see straight to the crux of the matter and work out a very simple way of achieving something,” he explains.
“It was my daughter who opened my eyes to one of the volumiser’s most valuable assets - its thermodynamic effect. I was filming her washing her hands under the cold tap in our kitchen when she announced that when it was in place, the volumised water felt warmer. I was hopping around the room at that.”
Wes discovered such a product had never been launched before. Patents were gained and a small amount of equity was released to a manufacturer in Europe, which is now producing Drenched technologies under license and will be soon be supplying tap manufacturers around the world.
The start-up, which has full support from Doncaster Council’s enterprise agency and Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, is now looking to launch a product for householders in coming weeks.
Drenched also wants to attract blue chip manufacturers such as Unilever and is reaching out to aid agencies WaterAid and Unicef to explore how the product could assist medical centres and provide sanitation in areas of drought, refugee camps and war zones.
“Other companies are coming up with similar ideas but we are way ahead of their game,” says Wes. “We are the only company in the world which has this product on the market for sale right now and things are moving fast for us.”
1. Drenched CEO Wes Sugden-Brook
2. The revolutionary Drenched volumiser, now on sale at £9.99
3. Inventor Wes Sugden-Brook with his children Darcie and Charlie, who helped him come up with his idea
NOTES TO EDITORS:
• Drenched was invented by Yorkshire mechanical engineer Wes Sugden-Brook. He has amassed a small team of professionals with valuable industry expertise, mostly from the North Yorkshire region, where he lives.
• Drenched aim to sell their products globally to the commercial and domestic market and believe that within the next two years, its patented single volumiser model will be saving the world’s most precious resource in aeroplanes and airports, hospitals, sports and music stadiums, pub and office washrooms, trains and ships.
• Drenched has huge potential on a humanitarian level: Its team is reaching out to aid agencies WaterAid and Unicef to explore how the product could assist their medical centres and provide sanitation for people in areas of drought, refugee camps and war zones.
• Drenched won the national final of Pitch@Palace in November 2016, the competition set up by the Duke of York to encourage enterprise. Drenched to date were the only contestant asked to pitch to Her Majesty the Queen.
• As part of the pitch a Drenched device was fitted into a tap at St James Palace. The Queen experienced others washing their hands with it so she could see how it worked.
Wes is available for interview or to offer commentary about:
• water saving - benefits, cost savings (there’s a water saving calculator on the Drenched website here - http://drenched.ltd.uk/water-savings-calculator/ )
• innovation, invention, and technology
• bringing a product to market
• securing distributors
For more information visit http://drenched.ltd.uk and for media requests please call Jamie Veitch on 07904 272 200.