Creating Drinking Water From Thin Air
We have all likely seen water dripping down from the back of an air conditioner, but did you ever think it could saves lives? As it turns out, the same concept that produces air conditioner condensate could be a lifesaver to 150 million people without access to drinking water.
The vision comes from French inventor Marc Parent, who created a machine that pulls water from the air and makes it potable, using a windmill as the sole energy source. Parent patented the system and founded Eole Water to manufacture and market it. Now comes the hard part…
As innovative and potentially important as the technology is, the cost of water per cubic meter must be competitive. That challenge will play out shortly, as the turbine — called the WMS1000 — gets installed in Dubai, India by the end of 2012. Each unit costs $600,000, and during testing in similar conditions (Mussafah, UAE) the system produced 62 liters of water per hour.
According to Eole Water executive Thibault Janin, interviewed recently by ABC News, the WMS1000 requires little to no maintenance and can operate for at least 20 years. Most importantly, the system requires no water source, making it ideal for the arid, remote regions where it is most needed.
Whether or not this new invention proves to be the ultimate answer to water scarcity, it certainly exemplifies next-level ingenuity. Conservation, desalination, and wastewater reuse are all great measures, but serve little use in the middle of a desert. Unfortunately, water doesn’t magically appear without a source — although a machine that creates drinking water from thin air is quite a trick.
Feel free to share your comments and reaction to this technology below…