The customer is always right – even when what they want doesn’t yet exist

Everyone knows that the customer is always right! When our customers are repeatedly asking for a particular product or solution we will always take them seriously and will do all we can to either find an existing product that will do the job required or to develop a new product which suits their needs perfectly.

Liquid and water cooled condensers have always been effective for reflux operation in the laboratory, but the relative costs both in monetary and environmental values have left the chemist searching for an alternative. An effective design offering equal or better performance than traditional air condensers was required. This would need a robust build quality and simple set up that would also be easy to clean if we were to make these chemists happy!

There are several designs of air condenser that work well by simply increasing the surface area of glass in contact with vapours (such as the Vigreux design), but just increasing the surface area wasn’t really going to give us a condenser that worked any better. I needed to consider the other physical effects which would help…

I had a “Eureka” moment after recalling some inspirational words from Steve Jobs (American entrepreneur and Co-founder of Apple, Inc) many years ago suggesting that “one should look outside of your own industry for ideas”. I was looking through some photographs I had taken of a power station on one misty dawn morning and started thinking about how the cooling towers there actually worked!

CondenSyn blog imageA typical cooling tower on many UK power stations is a Hyperboloid structure, but why that shape, I wondered? It had to be for a specific reason.
Even though a cooling tower is not quite a condenser the hyperboloid shape in effect changes the movement of gases as it narrows to a laminar flow and then to turbulent flow as it widens higher up, dramatically increasing efficiency. My idea was to do the same with a glass structure, but not just once. By building multiple narrowing sections we would gain valuable extra surface area and the all-important changes in vapour flow hopefully extracting more energy into the glass walls. Wall thickness also needed to be increased to help with efficiency, but to also make the condenser more robust and of course, safer to clean.

Asynt CondenSynTesting of the new Asynt CondenSyn has proven that these theories are effective and the only real addition we’ve found necessary is in the form of an anti-roll mechanism on each unit as whilst it will be repairable if necessary, it’s a great deal more useful to you if it doesn’t roll away and drop on the floor once you have cleaned it! The CondenSyn is proving popular – and it’s easy to see why!