December 30, 2002

The Dry-Kor system is tailor-made for operating rooms, hospitals, and clean rooms, where it is essential that the air is kept clean and bacteria-free.A new Israeli air conditioning technology helps lessen the possibility of chemical contamination of the air in buildings by not only cooling the air, but removing bacteria and potentially harmful chemicals from the air as well.

Dry-Kor’s “dry-conditioning” dehumidifies the air and cleans it as well, removing 94 percent of all bacteria from the air, according to the company. It also uses 50% less electricity than regular air conditioning systems.

“We are practically washing the air,” Danny Forkosh, 42 the CEO of Dry-Kor told The Jerusalem Post. “We remove 70% of particles that are bigger than five microns.”

Such a system is tailor-made for operating rooms, hospitals, and clean rooms, where it is essential that the air is kept clean and bacteria-free. It is also important for wineries, food manufacturers and pharmaceutical industries, where humidity in the atmosphere can destroy the products.

Air-conditioning technology hasn’t changed considerably since it was created 100 years ago. Today’s units use heat pump technology to cool the air by pumping the heat out of a room. The systems are expensive to run, waste a great deal of energy, are environmentally damaging, and are inefficient at dealing with humidity.

As a result some air-conditioning units contribute to what is known as Sick Building Syndrome. Fresh air air-conditioning systems, which are used to pump a steady stream of fresh air into buildings where many people congregate to keep air quality high, must often contend with a great deal of humidity in the outside air.

Existing air-conditioning systems remove humidity through condensation. This condensation is trapped in the system, where it becomes an excellent home for bacteria, mites and moulds. The air circulating in a building often blows straight past this area, distributing bacteria throughout the building. In the midst of the anthrax attacks in the US last year, for example, employees were advised to turn off their units the moment they suspected there was anthrax in the building.

The Dry-Kor system is based on a saline solution made from Dead Sea Salts, which absorbs the moisture in the air.

The company’s first air-conditioning device, which is now being used across the US, Israel and Europe, uses traditional AC technology and combines it with Dry-Kor’s technology to create a new device that uses 50% less electricity. In this system Dry-Kor uses the energy released during the air cooling process to double the performance of the air conditioner and dry the air.

The company, based in Atlit, Israel was begun by three brothers, Danny, Motti and Tommy Forkosh who initially set out in business by building and owning a chain of ice rinks across Israel and Europe in the 1980s and 1990s. Gradually, however, they began to realize that the air-conditioning system they had developed to keep their ice rinks cool and free of humidity was potentially more lucrative than the ice rinks themselves.

ABOUT 50% of Dry-Kor’s current sales are to the US, and it has already set up a subsidiary in Atlanta where eight people are employed, and has signed agreements with distributors there. Dry-Kor has set up agreements with companies that have access to large sources of energy. The company has signed a $13 billion agreement with US Ingersoll Ran, and is now making co-generational devices for them.

Forkosh was invited by the US Department of Energy to take part in a committee involved in creating a road map for the thermally activated energy market in the US over the next few

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director