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Interview with Beijko van Melick of Kalfire

October 17, 2022

"Thanks to the excellent collaboration with Spark, we are creating the future of sustainable fire"

Beijko van Melick of Kalfire Fireplaces had a dream. He wanted to make a fireplace that does not use fossil fuels or wood. He knew that somewhere in the world a technique had to be available to make sustainable fires. Spark has helped Beijko to make this dream come true. With the Kalfire E-one they have jointly developed an emission-free decorative fireplace, that has opened up a new market for fireplaces.

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“A flueless fireplace that requires no complicated installation and is also durable. The requirements for the new fireplace we wanted to develop were complex. We went through an extensive research with a think tank of chemists, a physicist, an inventor and Spark. We have examined various options for feasibility. From hydrogen to plasma, to a vapor fireplace, but all options were either unfeasible or it wouldn't set me on fire. And that is really the condition for me. Fire must provide connection. And we found that connection in the option with a hologram.

We prototyped the hologram fireplace and refined it until we were ready to show it to a consumer panel. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Most people were convinced it was a gas fireplace, that's how lifelike the experience was. We launched the E-one in 2020 and the dealers were thrilled. We are reaching a large new target group with the E-one. People in apartments, or for example in other houses where there is no gas connection. The need for a sustainable fireplace has also become much higher in recent years, because the use of gas and wood is under pressure.

The collaboration with Spark has always been very good and powerful. We are really a team together. It's great that they are just as passionate about sustainability as we are. They brought in a lot of electronics knowledge for the development of the E-one, because we didn't have it at the time.

In addition, Spark is able to develop a product in a very short time, which we can test for feasibility. This greatly shortens our time-to-market and gives us a big advantage over competitors. The speed has also resulted in cost savings.

Spark also contributes with regard to patents. We brainstormed a lot about how we can best design the patents. And Spark suggested the patent office with which we now have a good partnership. Now that we also want to enter the American market, we are working with Spark on the approval of the American version of the E-one. This broadens our market enormously. We are fully committed to holographic fire. 40% of our showroom is filled with different versions of the Kalfire E-one. Kalfire is now future proof.”