“‘SlingShot’: Segway Inventor Says End of Clean Water Is Near—So He Built a Solution”
1)Sustainability Problem – Clean drinking water is becoming more and more scarce on Earth.
2) – More than 3.5 million people die every year from water-related diseases, and almost 900 million don’t have access to a safe water supply.
– The Slingshot is a “vapor compression distiller” that uses solar energy to boil, distill and vaporize the bad gunk and turn it into clear and clean drinking water. It was created by inventor Dean Kamen and his inventing company, DEKA Research and Development
– Each Slingshot can purify 1000 liters of water per day, which can essentially support the water needs of 100 people. Plus it only uses a small amount of electricity.
– Slingshot is expensive to produce so Kamen he realized he must partner with companies that can distribute Slingshots globally.
3)Organizational Stakeholders – DEKA Research and Development, Consumers, Private companies used for public-private partnership
– Continue research to drive costs down. Third world countries will not be able to afford Slingshots at current cost.
– Find key areas that are in most need of clean water without access to it. Target these places and determine whether Slingshot would be a viable solution for them.
– Create public-private partnerships in these areas in order to set up Slingshots for the people to use.
In order to make a simple cup of tea, you end up overfilling the kettle. This wastes energy and water and also means you have to wait longer for it to heat up. Energy consumption because of the kettle water overfilling when boiling is far higher than what we would normally assume. According to Leyla Acaroglu during her 2014 TED Talk “One day of extra energy use [from overfilling electric kettles] is enough to light all the streetlights in England for a night.”
2) The technology
MIITO uses simple induction technology to essentially wirelessly transfer heat. Its base creates an electromagnetic field which will then heat any ferrous material on its surface, in this case the disc attached to the bottom of the rod. Once the rod is placed inside a vessel filled with liquid, the rod’s disc will heat up and directly transfer heat to just the liquid in the vessel, contrary to microwave ovens.
By heating only the liquid you need directly in the vessel you’ll drink from, it avoids wasting extra liquid and use less energy to heat it. Induction technology is 80-90% energy efficient in heating liquids. Electric kettles are only 50-80% efficient, microwave ovens are around 43% efficient and water heated on a stove is only 16-27% energy efficient, when boiling the same amount of liquid. Amongst many others, it has won the James Dyson Award for its lean, simple, and sustainable design.
MITTO, the developers of the product
The company has successfully run a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 where they gathered €818,098 pledged of €150,000 goal.
Since September 2015, the product is in its development phase.
Once the product is launched, targeted media campaigns should raise awareness on the product and make it available worldwide.
It would be desirable for local governments to encourage the use of this kind of devices by using some for of ‘sustainable’ labelling, as well as promotions.
Lima, Peru, is the second largest city in the world that is located in a desert after Cairo, which makes its inhabitants vulnerable to the scarcity of water. This issue affects specially the population that lives in the poorer outskirts of the city, who often depend on wells as the main source of this element. The main water sources of the city are three rivers that during the winter (dry season in the Andes) depend on glaciers as their main source. However, according to a study in the journal The Cryosphere, Andean glaciers have shrunk between 30% and 50% since the 70’s, which threatens the availability of fresh water in the future.
The solution: A billboard that creates drinking water out of thin air
The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC) built a billboard that captures air humidity and produces potable water in Bujama, a district located in the outskirts of Lima that gets less than two inches of rain a year. However, this place has an atmospheric humidity of 98%, according to UTEC. This technology consists in a system that uses a water purifying process called reverse osmosis to produce water out of the humidity and stores it in 20 liter tanks. Finally, the potable drinking water is dispensed at the bottom of the billboard.
The population of the Bujama district, located in the south of Lima, Peru.
The target audience of UTEC: potential new undergraduate students of engineering programs of UTEC.
UTEC wanted to attract potential engineering applicants by demonstrating an innovative solution to a sustainability problem through technology. The university identified the problem of water scarcity and determined the ideal place to locate the billboard that would solve that issue while announcing application deadlines: right next to the Panamerican Highway, south of Lima.