This Solar-Powered Device Turns Air Into Water
The device could offer a safe water solution for people living off the grid.
Pulling water out of thin air may sound like a magic trick, but for people across Australia, it could soon be a reality.
American company Zero Mass Water is launching trials of its SOURCE hydropanels, solar-powered devices that extract water from the air in several Australian cities, towns, and rural areas. The company hopes to create a drought-resistant source of drinkable water and reduce the use of plastic bottles with SOURCE hydropanels.
The hydropanels run on solar energy and use a fan to pull water vapor from the air in any environment. Zero Mass Water is actually headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and its product was built in the desert, where it succeeded in drawing moisture from the air to produce water. Just two hydropanels can produce up to 10 liters (2.64 gallons) of clean drinking water a day.
If successful, the program could serve as an example of how to provide a dependable source of drinking water without existing infrastructure in other countries. SOURCE installation is simple and requires only two steps: mounting the panels and connection to a reservoir. This means that SOURCE could be easily adapted and used in developing areas the same way that cell phones have been used to connect remote communities.
Because the hydropanels are flexible, they can be used in both rural and urban areas, an important feature for areas suffering from water security. The device's self-powered pump moves the water to reservoirs, which can be placed anywhere, so it's an especially important feature in extreme climates.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced $420,000 AUD ($313,920 USD) in funding for the deployment of 150 SOURCE systems across Australia on April 30, 2018. This trial is part of Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy goal of focusing on both sustainable consumption and reducing water scarcity.
The pilot will be rolled out in airports, cafes, community centers, and commercial buildings across Australia.
The success of the program will be determined not only by its ability to provide an alternative source of safe water, but also by its effectiveness at reducing plastic bottles usage in the country.
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