Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Desi Jaguar, and Clean Water

Two interesting news items:
First, the Jaguar brand, which was British, and then American, is now owned by Tata Motors!! yay for desi entrepreneurs! [thought it will be interesting how the Tatas get this to make a profit.]
BTW, did you know that the real Jaguar kill its prey not by attacking the neck, but biting through the skull!! More on them here.

In other, and much more interesting news -- there is a new update in the effort to get fresh water. I saw this guy in the Colbert Report the other day, claiming to be able to filter any kind of water, but was not completely sure of the efficiency of the machine. And then I read this analysis on Wired today.
From the article:
-Vapor Compression Distillation is not new, doing it in such an incredibly efficient way such that it takes only 2% of the power of convention distillers- is new.-R&D World + Gizmodo commenter
-The are no filters to replace, no charcoal, no anything disposable (just distillation)- Colbert (+many)
-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+Gizmodo commenter
The most interesting comments I came across were to the effect that inventing something great is only half the problem. The other half is getting it to the people who need it in a way that works. Luckily, as Gizmodo commenter enginblue points out, if units came down to $1,000 each, this new wave of micro-lending could have people pooling money to purchase units for groups of entrepreneurs wanting to bring this to their village.

I, for one, hope this technology matures soon. A lot of arsenic-drinking Indian villagers will be very happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment