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Dean Kamen invents the ultimate water purifier

I was watching The Colbert Report and saw Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, describing his latest invention, The Slingshot. The Ultimate Water Purifier.

50% of all Human Disease on this planet today is a result of waterborne pathogens. This invention will eliminate all contaminated water and turn it into purified drinking water. Not only does it purify water, but it also provides energy. He wants to provide this for third world countries where an estimated 1.1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water and many die because of water borne diseases. Also, 1.6 billion don’t have adequate electricity. So, this device plans to solve both the problems. This is truly amazing.

It is designed to supply a village with 1,000 liters/day of clean water. (Colbert Report)

  1. You can use any water source — ocean, puddle, chemical waste site, hexavalent chrome, arsenic, poison, 50 gallon drum of urine. (Colbert Report)

  2. 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)

  3. The are no filters to replace, no charcoal, no anything disposable (just distillation). (Colbert Report)

  4. 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)

  5. 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)

  6. Slingshot will be less then 60 lbs. (TED)

  7. The prototype slingshot was hand-built for $100K. The goal is to get production units down to $1,000 to $2,000. (CNN)

  8. 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

  9. Later sources say the sterling engine can generate 1 kilowatt or enough power for 70 high-efficiency light bulbs. (CNN)

  10. The sterling engine can run on anything that burns, propane or even cow dung. (CNN)

  11. The slingshot is a David and Goliath reference aimed at putting water and power back in the hands of the individuals. (AP)

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