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This Kettle Promises to Instantly Heat Water to the Perfect Temperature as You Pour

Illustration for article titled This Kettle Promises to Instantly Heat Water to the Perfect Temperature as You Pour
Photo: Heatworks

A watched pot might never boil, but if you blink, you’ll miss Heatworks’ new Duo carafe working its magic. Using the company’s proprietary heating technology, the carafe promises to instantly heat cold water to any temperature while it’s being poured, drastically reducing the amount of energy it uses, and all but eliminating the wait for a piping hot cup of tea.

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Heatworks’ Ohmic Array Technology works similar to how a microwave oven heats food. Instead of heating water by first super-heating a submerged metal element that transfers heat energy, the technology uses graphite electrodes to pass electricity directly through H2O, exciting the minerals in the water which in turn instantly increase the liquid’s temperature. The system relies on sophisticated electronics to ensure the water doesn’t get any hotter than a pre-set temperature and to eliminate the risk of leaked current causing unpleasant shocks to users. But it’s a big improvement to how water heaters have inefficiently worked for decades.

The technology almost sounds like it borders on science fiction, but Heatworks already sells an $800 on-demand home water heater that relies on the technique, and at last year’s CES, it introduced a countertop dishwasher called the Tetra that doesn’t require any plumbing connections for hot water. At this year’s CES, Heatworks is announcing that pre-orders for the $299 Tetra will start sometime in early 2019, but also revealed another new home product that uses the Ohmic Array Technology to further improve life in the kitchen.

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Illustration for article titled This Kettle Promises to Instantly Heat Water to the Perfect Temperature as You Pour
Photo: Heatworks

The battery-powered Duo Carafe features Heatworks’ unique heating technology built right into its lid. It can be stored in the fridge like a Brita pitcher, providing filtered cold water as needed. But when you want coffee, tea, or even instant ramen, the Duo can instantly dispense boiling water instead, heated to within a single degree of a specified temperature.

The company doesn’t expect to launch pre-orders for the Duoy until 2020 at the earliest, and there’s no word on what pricing. It will undoubtedly be more expensive than your average plug-in kettle, but for those of us with no patience, not having to stand around waiting for water to slowly heat could be worth the premium price tag.

[Heatworks]


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DISCUSSION

The first law of thermodynamics says that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Raising the temperature of water requires the input of a certain amount of energy, no matter where that energy comes from. It requires a little more than 4 Joules of energy to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1ºC. One Joule is one Watt per second, so you can run the numbers on any combination of battery voltage, current, water volume, time and temperature increase you like.

Even simple immersion heaters waste almost no energy at all; nearly all of the electrical energy expended shows up as heat in the water, simply because there’s nowhere else for it to go. A tiny amount is radiated away as IR and low frequency electromagnetic energy, but it’s almost all heat. Any electric heater is nearly 100% efficient since any waste shows up as heat, which is what you want in the first place.