March 26, 2008

Careful Dean Kamen, or you just might win the Nobel Peace Prize someday

Dean Kamen, inventor of the most kick-ass prosthetic arm currently in existence, has figured out how to convert virtually any liquid into water.


From the Wired article:
  • It is designed to supply a village with 1,000 liters/day of clean water. (Colbert Report)
  • You can use any water source -- ocean, puddle, chemical waste site, hexavalent chrome, arsenic, poison, 50 gallon drum of urine. (Colbert Report)
  • Vapor compression distillation is not new. Doing it in such an incredibly efficient way such that it takes only 2 percent of the power of convention distillers is new. (R&D World and Gizmodo commenter)
  • There are no filters to replace, no charcoal, no anything disposable (just distillation). (Colbert Report)
  • The Slingshot (as its called) can use half the waste heat (450 watts) from a sterling engine electrical generator (prototype also being designed by Kamen's company) to boil its water. (TED)
  • The heat put into the water is recovered with a "counter-flow heat exchanger" and recycled to heat the next batch of water (that is part of the novel bit). (TED and Gizmodo commenter)
  • Slingshot will be less then 60 lbs. (TED)
  • The prototype slingshot was hand-built for $100K. The goal is to get production units down to $1,000 to $2,000. (CNN)
  • The sterling engine, used as an electrical generator, can produce about 200 watts of power (it will never be more then 20 percent efficient) and 800 watts of waste heat (the waste heat that slingshot uses). TED
  • Later sources say the sterling engine can generate 1 kilowatt or enough power for 70 high-efficiency light bulbs. (CNN)
  • The sterling engine can run on anything that burns, propane or even cow dung. (CNN)
  • The slingshot is a David and Goliath reference aimed at putting water and power back in the hands of the individuals. (AP)
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    i think it is wonderful that you are highlighting Dean Kamens accomplishments. I love Dean Kamen and his work is true and good.