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Thread: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    WashDC, Annapolis, Thailand
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    262

    Default New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    I'm reading thru the June issue of Popular Science which contains a number of interesting short articles on the potable WATER shortages that exist in various parts of the world, and even those situations that are looming right here in the USA.

    One particular article that caught my attention, and that I though might have boating implications, was one about Dean Kamen's new distillation type watermaker, 'Slingshot'. Remember Dean Kamen?....he is that inventor of numerous medical devices, and the Segway transportation machines, etc. While working on a new peritoneal dialysis machine project, he found he needed a large supply of 'pure water' even above the relatively good quality we get from many of our city tap waters in the USA.

    Where does one find that quality and quantity of pure water at a reasonable cost? The 'distillation process' can get you that pure water even when the source might be sewage water, or chemical waste water, or seawater! But the process of distillation might need to be rather large scale, and it is normally expensive energy-wise. Kamen and his engineer's went to work on the problem, and what they have come up with they have chosen to call 'Slingshot', a vapor compression distillation machine.

    The energy efficiencies for this watermaker look very good, likely exceeding that of most other methods including the reverse-osmosis ones we often utilize on vessels. BUT, still it requires a 'jump start' to initiate the evaporation stage, and a minimum amount of additional energy input to keep it running. As a result of their desire to get some of these watermaking machines into remote and impoverished areas of the world were energy input is not so readily available, they have developed machines that can run on solar power, and one of Dean's pet projects, the Sterling engine.

    Of course our boats should have no problems with supplying these watermaking machines with enough power, either solar, or battery, or generator sourced. The point is we should be able to get a very high quality of water on board at a very reasonable expenditure of energy, and a very low demand of maintenance.

    http://www.popsci.com/article/scienc...water-millions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Stratford upon Avon
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    3,380

    Default Re: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    Interesting.

    I wonder how you clear out the residual waste/crud/salt as it cools,dries and deposits as it leaves the boiling chamber.

    The fact that they have some working installations means they must have solved the questions that the article bring to mind.

    Cheers.

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Totnes
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    I've been using a distillation system for over year. It uses no electricity at all, but it does need cleaning occasionally. It isn't completely reliable, but I have gone several months at a time without having to load up from a hose, and the wife and I have had a shower a day, done the laundry, cooked, washed up and drank the stuff direct.

    I don't know why it isn't more common. I regret only that I didn't install it in the first place to fill the water tanks directly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    currently Columbia/Panama
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    352

    Default Re: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    I'm guessing you were making a joke with the "distillation" comment, but most boats we see cruising have some form of rain catchment system.

    Mark
    Mark Cole
    Manta 40 "Reach"
    www.svreach.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Santa Barbara, Calif.
    Posts
    539

    Default Re: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    This bears watching. Seems simpler than a RO system. I wonder if you fed it beer would it make scotch?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    currently Columbia/Panama
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    352

    Default Re: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    No, if you feed it beer, it will make water - but you already do that yourself!

    Mark
    Mark Cole
    Manta 40 "Reach"
    www.svreach.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Tavernier
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    Sounds similar to Shells method to make their new Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum from a Gas to liquid technology to make a really pure synthetic oil.
    Could be really cool innovation in watermaking tech.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mill Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: New Distillation type Watermaker, 'Slingshot'

    The basic design of this unit has been around a very long time. Multi stage distillation was one of the first uses of steam engines. From train engines to submarines this type of system is common. I have a set of antique books (1922) 'Audels' and there are detailed drawings of the system there. And, in another of the books is the service diagram of a large Sterling engine as well...

    When I was a kid we had a Sterling desk fan - you put a candle under it and the engine had just enough power to spin the blades... of course you were blowing heated air.. :-)
    “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible” B.Russell

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