Water is all around us. As land dwellers, we know that at least 70% of the Earth is covered in it, but most of it is salt water and undrinkable. So, taking water vapors and moisture out of the air to turn into fresh water must be like some kind of ‘magic’, right? Well, it’s actually become a reality thanks to Israeli company Water-Gen.
Water out of Thin Air
Water-Gen designed and built a machine that creates and harvests condensation and water vapors in the air to turn into drinking water. It’s essentially turning the water cycle as we know it into one machine!
It’s simple, really. Air comes in like an air conditioner and enters a set of filters to remove the dirt and germs. A set of plastic leaves funnel the air in various directions to create a gradient heat exchanger. This allows the water in the air to pass through the generators and turn back to liquid.
“The target is to extract water from the air with minimum energy. We think our solution can solve the problem on the level of countries” said founder and co-CEO Arye Kohavi, “it’s an immediate solution — governments don’t need to spend decades to make a big project”.
Currently, there are three sizes: small, medium and large. In conditions of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 60% humidity, the smallest can yield 4 gallons of water per day, the medium yields 118 gallons and the largest can yield a whopping 825 gallons per day. It’s incredible to think so much water is floating all around us.
The Next Step
While its original intention was to be used by the military, Kohavi hopes to focus on commercial uses, even commercializing it by the end of 2017. They will be presenting the design to the United Nations assembly at the next session, so big things are on the horizon.
With current energy prices, the cost is less than 10 cents a gallon, making it more cost effective for areas where water is scarce and temperatures are high. The only downside is that it still requires a power source, which can be difficult for third-world countries in places like Africa, but not impossible.
They’re currently testing it in cities like Mumbai, Shanghai and Mexico City to find out how well the machine can work in areas with poor air quality. If it passes the tests, then we might never even have to use a tap again in the near future.
This is a critical, and maybe even revolutionary, machine for poor countries that don’t have easy access to clean water and even for those that already do. Fresh water is already a dying commodity, and Water-Gen might have found the answer we needed.
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