Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Feb 14, 2004
Industry & Economy - Water
Marketing - New Products & Services
Want water now? Condense it from thin air
Chennai , Feb. 13
THERE is a gentleman in town selling a machine that produces water out of thin air.
No. He is not P.C. Sorcar. His business card says he is Joseph Lee Kong Chian, Managing Director, Excel Water Technology (Asia) Pte Ltd. And, there is no magic involved, just condensation, he says.
It is happening all the time: in your air-conditioner, in your refrigerator - remember all that water collecting in the drain tray.
WaterFinder works on the same principle, only more efficiently and cleanly. Its purification system gives drinking water that excels quality standards laid down by the World Health Organisation, he says.
Mr Chian was explaining WaterFinder's features to a group of journalists in the presence of a team of officials from the US Consulate, including the Commercial Consul, Mr Bruce M. Quinn.
Water from air!
If you don't believe it, just step over to the Metrowater headquarters, off Anna Salai, where a demo unit has been working since Thursday.
"We received information that the people at Metrowater are happy with its working," the consular officials said.
But hold on. WaterFinder is not going to solve Chennai's water shortage. About the size of a tabletop water cooler, its water-extraction-and-purification-system, says Mr Chian, can extract about 19 litres of water in a 24-hour cycle. Enough, and to spare, for a family of five or a small office. But every bit helps - if you can afford anything between Rs 20,000 and 35,000 that it is likely to cost.
"The local distributors will have to decide the cost," he said. He will meet potential distributors and agents over the next two days to market the WaterFinder here.
It runs on electricity and it powers off once the 7.5-litre tank inside gets filled. The feature saves power. It is an 800-watt unit and water is only as costly as the power the machine consumes.
Excel Water also markets larger versions. A 5,600-litre a day unit for industrial use and a mobile 750-litre unit that runs on diesel.
He has sold a few thousand WaterFinders in South East Asia, where he plans to expand the markets. In Asia, Excel Water looks after the business interests of the US-based Excel Holdings, which has outsourced manufacturing to a leading appliances manufacturer.
This region is a high growth area for WaterFinder because humidity is a key factor that decides efficiency. The more the water in the air, the more the water in the tank. The humidity levels in Chennai are enough to keep WaterFinder condensing happily year round.
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