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Thursday March 23, 2006

IT man invents solar kettle


JOHOR BARU: After putting the kettle on the stove to boil, one would not think of leaving it unattended for obvious safety reasons. 

But with Alex Kee’s solar kettle, you just leave it out in the sun, attend to other matters for an hour or two, and have boiled water when you return home. 

It is also a thermos flask because if boiled before sunset the water can be kept hot throughout the night, losing only about 5°C. 

Kee, 45, said his invention, which he has named the Solar Kettle-Thermos Flask (SK-TF), could be the answer to providing safe, solar-pasteurised drinking water in a sustainable and renewable way.  

USING SOLAR ENERGY: Kee showing the Solar Kettle-Thermos Flask, which is a scaled-down version of a water heater, in Johor Baru on Tuesday.
“I have been interested in solar energy for the past 20 years, but what motivated me to come up with it, which is actually a scaled-down version of a water heater, was an article about contaminated water in developing countries,” he said. 

“The United Nations Children’s Fund estimated that 60% of rural families and 23% of urban families in developing countries are without safe water.''  

Kee said that as an alternative to chlorination and UV disinfection, heating water to 65°C for six minutes, or to a higher temperature for a shorter time, would kill all harmful germs, parasites and viruses, including the Hepatitis A virus.  

“Boiling water takes time and uses up scarce fuel resources, especially in remote areas, but solar energy is free to be converted into thermal energy,” he added.  

When asked how the kettle could benefit Malaysians, Kee, who owns an IT business, said: “For Malaysia, the target group is those in the rural areas and the highlands, such as in Sabah and Sarawak. 

“There is good sunshine there and all you need is a one-time delivery. And glass, if unbroken, can last a thousand years.” 

For more information, log on to www.solarkettle.com or call Kee at 016-763 2095.  

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