Interdisciplinary
Innovative
Award
2018
István Weeber

István Weeber, managing director and owner of Tetőhűtés Ltd., graduated as an agricultural engineer in Gödöllő. As a Jesuit novice, he lived for two years in the first Hungarian residential home for handicapped people, in the L’Arche community in Dunaharaszti. In 2000, Mr. Weeber founded Öntözés.hu Ltd., a company engaged with the design, implementation, and trade of agricultural and industrial irrigation systems. In 2002, to the request of the Laboratory of Thermophysics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, working to find solutions to the problems caused by summer heat in a paper mill in Csepel, he started to work on the evaporative cooling of large, flat, industrial roofs. Besides managing the company and doing continuous research into roof cooling technologies, he lives and works with young handicapped people, exclusively with his own material resources. For 8 years now, Mr. Weeber, his wife, and their five children have been living with ten children and young people with mental, physical, or multiple disabilities. Mr Weeber and his wife strive to provide them with a vital, caring, and personalized background until the end of their lives. Mr. Weeber, an agricultural irrigation engineer and inventor, and his team have found a revolutionary solution to reduce the summer heat in factories and other industrial buildings; WaterFilm Technology is a roof cooling method that achieves climate optimisation in industrial halls. During summer heat waves, the temperature of the roof of an industrial building can reach up to 75°C, warming up the ceiling and the air inside the building to 35-45°C, which is far beyond the level where people or even sophisticated machines can work efficiently. Currently, the temperature can be reduced in two ways, using insulation and air conditioners. However, insulation only delays the warm-up and keeps all technological heat inside, while air-conditioning devices may work well on an average summer day, but will perform below a 50% efficiency level or stop working during heat waves. The result: higher investment in air conditioning, increasing energy costs, more frequent production stoppages, and employees fainting at work. The real solution is not to cool down the air, but to prevent it from heating up. Mr. Weeber invented an environmentally friendly and economical system to create a thin evaporative water foil above the roof that will keep the temperature of the roof at a maximum of 32-33°C. This technology enables traditional air conditioners to operate efficiently. The method debuted successfully at an Opel factory where the stoppages and faints disappeared immediately, and the return on investment was less than a few days. With the WaterFilm Technology project, Mr. Weeber and his development team has addressed one of the major concerns of our society, carbon footprint, by translating their research into a revolutionary method. By giving Mr. Weeber and his team this award, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary pays its deepest respect for their work.