Patents, Prototypes, Manufacturing, and Marketing New Inventions
Help with marketing for new inventors with new products, new inventions, or new product ideas.
Free Marketing Help for Inventors, the Hot Water Saver, an Energy Conservation Device.
Marketing an invention back in 1984 was a new experience for me.
Mr. Haws and I were sitting around discussing marketing an invention, and Mr. Haws left the room and came back in with a cardboard box full of letters. He set the box down and asked me to read some of the letters. After reading a few of the letters, I looked at Mr. Haws and said " Wow...you've got a winner on your hands here!
The invention as it turns out, was called a "Hot Water Saver", and was an energy conservation device. Mr. Haws had been thinking about all the energy left in the hot water remaining in the hot water piping after each use of hot water. He came up with a way to return the hot water back to the water heater after each use.
His invention, ( patent # 4,518,007), consisted of two components, a tank with piston (basically a specially constructed hydraulic cylinder similar to what is found on tractors and such) that connects between the water main and the inlet to the water heater, and a small valve that connects between the hot and cold water pipes under the sink furthest from the water heater. When hot water was drawn from a hot water tap, the piston in the tank would be forced down to the bottom of the tank, and once all the way down the incoming cold water would pass through to the water heater.
After turning off the hot water, the pressure difference between the atmosphere and the water line would cause the piston to rise. The rising piston pushed cold water across the small valve, into the hot water line, forcing the hot water back into the water heater.
Mr. Haws had applied for a grant from the DOE (dept. of energy), and was awarded a grant of $100,000.00. He used the money to have Battelle Memorial Laboratories to do a field test. Battelle used prototypes built from PVC pipes and fittings by Mr. Haws. I forget exactly how many homes were involved in the study, but it was somewhere between a dozen and twenty.
Battelle's conclusion was that the devices saved about %17 of the energy needed to heat water in a typical home. Now that is a very large amount of energy savings. Popular Science or Popular Mechanics or some such magazine had done an article about the study.
The cardboard box full of letters were a result of the article. There were letters from individuals, companies, and service organizations. Hundreds of them! I was quite excited. I inquired as to what he was going to do with it. He had patent pending status. Mr. Haws just wanted to license it to someone else for manufacturing and selling. He wanted a cash payment and a percentage of the royalties.
I had just finished the asparagus harvester, and it was going to be parked. I was out of a job.
But I had an idea! I called my partner on some other projects, Mr. Metzger, and briefed him on the new product that Mr. Haws had come up with. He agreed to come out and take a look. We thought maybe we could license it from Mr. Haws!
Mr. Metzger caught a plane up to Mesa Washington to meet with myself and Mr. Haws. Mr. Metzger was just as excited about the hot water saver as I was and we cut a deal with Mr. Haws. As I recall, we signed an agreement with Mr. Haws for cash and royalties, with a few months before any payments were due to give us time to raise some money.
Raising Money (Raising money for the new product)
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