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Creating Drinking Water From Air

Updated on December 28, 2018
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Eole Water's Water From Wind Generator


Marc Perent, a French scientist and inventor, has developed a machine that is capable of creating drinking water from air. This technology could help alleviate the growing need for potable water throughout the world, particularly in remote and developing parts of the world that are in dire need of potable water. This technology appears to work in every climate from arid desert climates to humid tropical climates, and when coupled with a renewable energy source such as wind or solar power has nearly unlimited potential to provide potable drinking water on-demand wherever it is needed.

While wars have been waged over oil during the late 20th century and early 21st century, many military analysts believe that water may be the next natural resource that countries go war over to control, as countries need water to satisfy their growing populations and agricultural needs. The water from air invention may not only alleviate people's need for potable drinking water, but also geopolitical tensions over water resources, as the world population grows and demands additional food and higher standards of living.

The Inspiration For Creating Drinking Water From Air

Mr. Perent’s water from air machine literally creates potable drinking water out of thin air, even in extremely dry desert climates. His initial inspiration for the water from his air idea was more of a practical personal need than a grandiose idea to provide the world with a new source of potable drinking water. Mr. Perent was looking for a way to save money on expensive bottled water while he was staying on a Caribbean island that had a water shortage, and decided to start capturing the water dripping from his air conditioner to use for some of his water needs. The idea of linking his water capture concept to a renewable electricity wind turbine was inspired by the fact that the Caribbean island’s electricity supply was unreliable and prone to outages. To ensure that he had water from his air conditioner when he needed it, he hooked it up to a wind turbine that generated electricity and water, as needed.

Getting Down To Business | Creating Drinking Water From Air

Mr. Perent's experience in the Caribbean caused him to start thinking about the implications of the air to water concept, and how it could be scaled up and refined to provide a reliable source of drinking water from air in any climate, and after returning from the Caribbean he patented the concept. In 2004, he founded a company based in France called Eole Tech to begin developing air to water machine prototypes. The company's name was eventually changed to Eole Water and adopted the motto "From Wind To Water". The company's mission is: to provide a new source of water to communities that lack reliable and sustainable resources to meet the basic needs of the populations living in these remote areas.

To research the water from air machine in a real world-operating environment and to prove that the concept could work on a large scale, the company tested a prototype model of the machine called the WMS1000 (WMS = Water Maker System). Eole Water wanted to prove that the MWS1000 water from air machine could provide potable drinking water in a very dry environment, so they chose a location in the desert outside of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. A ground-mounted MWS1000 prototype was tested at the desert site from November 2011 to April 2012. To the company's delight, the MWS1000 prototype has produced between 500 and 800 liters of potable water per day during the initial ground-based test runs in the dry desert. The next step in the testing of the MWS1000 prototype was to mount it on an elevated tower at the desert site that was approximately 78 feet (24 meters) in height to capture the higher winds that are present above the ground level, which the company reported produced well over 1,000 liters (200 gallons) of potable water per day at an average humidity rate of 45% and an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius), which is enough water to provide potable drinking water to a small village. By the end of 2012, the company plans to set up the MWS1000 prototype in Abu Dhabi for public viewing.

Eole Water has also developed a model of the WMS1000 that obtains its power from solar cells, for areas in which solar energy is more practical than wind energy. They also have a model that can be hooked into an electrical grid for larger-scale applications, if a customer would prefer that option. The WMS1000 is designed and constructed with parts to operate in harsh environments, with a self-cleaning condenser and automatic shields to protect the unit from windstorms.

The WMS1000 has an initial price of $600,000, which should come down over time as economies of scale reduce production costs. Eole Water argues that while expensive, the WMS1000 is sometimes the only practical solution to provide potable drinking water in remote areas where traditional water distribution systems cannot be built due to physical and technical restrictions. The WMS1000 wind turbine has an expected lifetime of twenty years at a minimum, and the renewable energy models cost nothing to operate (beyond routine maintenance), since they utilize renewable electricity from the wind and sun.

Eole Water's MWS1000 Creates Drinking Water From Wind Energy


How The Drinking Water From Air Machine Works

The MWS1000 water from air machine operates using an array of existing technologies that work in concert to generate electricity, capture moisture from the air, turn it into water, and then treat the water to potable drinking water standards. Air enters intake vents around the nose cone of the wind turbine (which provides all of the electricity needed), which once inside is heated and becomes steam. The steam is then compressed, which causes water droplets to collect in a chilled stainless steel alloy condenser. Once condensed, the water is piped to stainless steel tanks, at which point the water undergoes a five-stage filtration and purification process to provide the end product, which is potable drinking water that exceeds the World Health Organization (WHO) water purification standards. The stainless steel used in the MWS1000 and holding tanks is a specially formulated "food safe" stainless steel alloy that is safe for use with potable drinking water.

The Future Of The Drinking Water From Air Machine

With the highly successful initial desert field tests of the MWS1000 water from air machine behind them, Eole Water is ready to start marketing and selling the water from air machine to customers throughout the world. The invention has not gone unnoticed, as the company has been in talks with a number of well known companies to assist them with the development, marketing, and installation of the first commercially available MWS1000 water from air machines. Eole Water envisions their customers to be mainly governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that want to provide potable drinking water to remote areas.

The WMS1000, 5th Generation Eole Water's Wind Turbine

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 John Coviello


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