Love it!!!

Someday, we’ll probably all be getting our water from one of these, especially Arizona residents. For now, I am sooooo happy it’s only half a million bucks! That’s do-able, even for NGO’s working with developing countries. And with increased production, the cost can only go down. What’s especially cool is that the majority of the innovation award winners are doing stuff that’s either socially or environmentally redeeming, not just a bunch of useless gadgets and internet junk.

My personal 2nd favorite, because there’s nothing more evil and unbearable than fucking 2-stroke garden equipment:

“Co-winner Firefly Energy Inc., Peoria, Ill., developed a power supply that replaces the heavy lead plates in typical vehicle batteries with a carbon-graphite foam.

The result is smaller and lighter — yet can deliver as much power as more advanced and more costly technologies. Though its batteries aren’t yet on the market, Firefly has signed a deal with Sweden’s Husqvarna Group to provide batteries for the outdoor-equipment maker’s planned line of electric lawn mowers and lawn tractors. And in March Firefly received $5 million from the U.S. Army to develop a prototype for possible use in combat vehicles.”

I can’t wait to buy batteries made with carbon fiber plates instead of lead! Then I probably will turn the vibrating wedgie (Husqvarna) into an electric bike.

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One Response to 'Love it!!!'

  1. pinkyracer says:

    From Tom via e-mail

    I saw the WSJ article about the innovation awards and I saw the story on your blog about the “water machine” and I agree, it is a great application of technology. I also completely understand that water is vital to the survival of humans. However, when you’re using it in “off-grid” mode, how quickly does it use diesel fuel? I couldn’t find the specifications on the website.

    I would like to see the financial analysis that shows that buying, delivering, and operating that thing is less expensive than shipping the water.

    The website says:
    “Container models can produce up to 1,200 gallons of water per day for 7 days without outside electrical source or refueling.”

    How big is the diesel fuel tank on this thing? I’ll bet it is pretty big. I can’t imagine this process is especially energy efficient.

    So, we have 1200 gallons of water would take up about 160 cubic feet. This will easily fit in the cargo area of a van. That same van has a 35 gallon tank. Say you use one tank of fuel to deliver the water (half a tank getting there and half getting back). So, now the machine can’t burn more than 35 gallons per day. That is 245 gallons in a week. I’d easily bet lunch that that “water machine” consumes at least that in diesel fuel per week.

    Think of the size of the truck that would be needed to deliver 245 gallons of diesel fuel to this thing per week! A tanker truck holds ~9000 gallons, so it’d only take one full of water per week to exceed the output of that machine.

    In the end, my whole point is that I would expect the WSJ to perform some sort of financial evaluation of an innovation before giving it an award.

    Just my $0.02 as an engineer and budding MBA student. I don’t mean to get off on a rant or anything…

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