Strange New Object from Japan: A Portable Tankless Water Heater

This unusual and design-oriented object comes from Japan: a portable instantaneous water heater in hand luggage form factor. Produced by Erif (that’s “fire” backwards), a spin-off brand from conventional gas boiler maker Morita Industries, it runs on two LPG canisters and does not require a power connection, but instead relies on a battery-operated igniter.

My first thought was why, which I’ll get into in a moment; While scanning the product details, I was distracted by the innovative technology.

“The OUTDOOR GAS BOILER has neither a power button nor an ignition switch. All you have to do is press the shower head switch. It detects the flow of water from the tap and automatically ignites hot water from 30 ° C to 40 ° C after 10 to 30 seconds. When you turn the switch back, the shower stops and the fire is automatically extinguished. The only switch that is on the outside of the product body is the rotary knob that toggles between HOT and COLD. “

In addition, the two gas canisters are enough for 30 minutes of hot water, according to the company.

That out of the way, what’s the real application? I can see its usefulness for a tiny house, but why does it have wheels and a handle? In this machine-translated video by Erif, Raita Teramoto, CEO of Morita Industries, says an idea for a dog wash station in the backyard was suggested (he doesn’t say by whom). As an example of the occasional arbitrariness of Japanese manufacturers, the company went ahead with the idea, devoted considerable engineering know-how to the development and enlisted the services of industrial designer Jin Kuramoto.

In addition to washing dogs in the garden, the device could also be used for a camping shower – provided you have a source of pressurized water; the system requires a minimum of 130 kPa (about 18.9 psi) which, according to the company, “covers the lower limit of the Japanese water supply”.

This uncommented and not very informative video shows how the device is used by a surfer on the beach and by fishermen on the shore, but the water source cannot be seen.

In short, I have no idea why this object was invented other than being attractive and technically impressive. The company’s self-described philosophy indicates that its raison d’etre can be purely poetic:

“The idea of ​​ERIF is to experience the ‘warmth of life’. Products that take full advantage of the latest technology are practical and wonderful, but we also want the polite way of spending time that takes time and value Appreciating the moment continues to make new and reassuring suggestions by re-examining an aspect of life that was commonplace. ”

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