Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dean Kamen's water machine on the Colbert Report

Yes, as PL pointed out, Dean Kamen had demo-ed his water machine on the The Colbert Report on World Water Day. I looked all over for it and found it here. Hopefully you can see it.



PL, who wishes to remain anonymous, also asked what my thoughts on Kamen's machine were. I haven't studied his machine, so its hard for me to comment intelligently. I have a lot of respect for Dean Kamen and what he is attempting to do, but having worked several years in this field, I can say with great certainty that it isn't the fancy technology that solves the world's water problems, its the simple things. Too many times I've come across technology that was inappropriately designed for the poor, and these died miserable deaths. Often they sat on shelves, unused for years and/or quickly fell into disrepair because of high operation and maintenance costs. Its not that I doubt Kamen's machine works. Hardly the case...infact i'm certain it is technically very sound. The question is, will it sustain in the villages I've worked in...that is a completely different answer.

From what I can see, Kamen's machine is a distiller. Distiller's are high energy technologies (essentially it uses distillation to clean the water), which makes it very expensive. I'm curious about the cost of the machine and how much energy it uses. That will decide whether its a worthy investment or not.

1 comment:

chris said...

it doesnt use energy. it actually cleans water while MAKING energy.