These small, white, Australian-made boxes are quietly serving instant boiling water to tea and coffee drinkers all around the world. They are more efficient than any urn or kettle.
Patented controls keep the water in the Zip Miniboil between 99 and 100 degrees Celsius. Any steam that's produced is turned back to hot water (condensed) in a patented cowl (hood), and recycled to preheat incoming cold water. No steam escapes to waste energy, damage paintwork or scald people.
By creating the world's first system for delivering boiling water instantaneously, Michael Crouch and his Sydney-based team changed the way hot beverages are prepared in many workplaces and public buildings around the world. The Zip Hydroboil delivers boiling water with little wastage and at relatively high energy efficiency, and it can improve workplace efficiency by reducing the amount of time spent waiting for water to boil.
The key technical feature of this Australian innovation is the accurate control of water temperature, which the patented controls keep in the range 99 to 100 degrees Celsius. Steam is retained within the unit by a patented condensing hood and saves energy by pre-heating incoming cold water. Compared to the traditional urn used in some workplaces, the Zip saves large amounts of energy by not boiling more water than needed.
The inventors named in Zip's 1979 patent application for a ?continuous water heating unit' were Raymond Dennis Massey and Leonard Newsam.
Since this unit was made, the company has continued to innovate, and it now exports a wider range of products to over 60 countries. Having considered sending manufacture offshore, Crouch has decided to retain it in Sydney, to keep supply chains simple and to keep management close to the shop floor. The culture of innovation in the company encourages all workers to suggest ideas for improving products and processes, and the culture of quality ensures its products are highly regarded.
Debbie Rudder, Curator, 2012