ZeroMassWater has developed a solar panel kit – “Source” – that uses its electricity to draw water from the atmosphere. The kit delivers up to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) of pure water per day in optimal locations. The unit can be installed and integrated into a regular house.
“Our vision is perfect water for every person, in every place” – Cody Friesen, the founder, CEO and MIT PhD.
The hardware costs $2,000 per unit – and when compared to the price of bottled water per the manufacturer – will cover its costs in five years. The CEO suggests a unit could offset 70,000 plastic water bottles over the course of its lifetime. The ‘hydropanels’ are already installed in eight countries including: The US, UK, UAE, Lebanon, Ecuador, Jordan, Mexico and the Philippines.
ZeroMassWater provided a technical explanation for the process on their website:
Ambient air is drawn into SOURCE via fans and water vapor in the air is adsorbed onto our specialty hygroscopic material. The water vapor is collected as the airflow passes through a condenser and the resulting liquid water flows into the onboard reservoir. The collected water is mineralized for optimal health/taste and treated (with Ozone) to maintain optimal water quality over time. Water is pumped through a polishing cartridge prior to being dispensed to the customer.
Essentially, the group has mounted a solar array on top of an atmospheric water generator with the goal to build a product that can be deployed nearly anywhere and provide clean drinking water every day. The array has a 30 liter reservoir. Maintenance is minimal – the air and water filters need to be replaced annually and the mineral cartridge every 5 years. The unit comes with a one year warranty.
The Source takes up about 30 sq feet per unit – about the size of two residential solar panels.
The units will be displayed at CES 2018, which runs January 9-12, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were named a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree.
If a person needs about two to three liters of water per day, then a single unit could potentially take care of almost two people concurrently. In disaster areas, this seems like it would be highly useful. For those who buy expensive water filtration hardware this unit will fit well, though, it won’t replace the need for drilling a well or connecting to the water grid as it would be quite expensive to cover broader water usage with a unit like this.
Philosophically, I love the concept. CEO Friesen said “We want our customers to be water democratizers.” This rough individualism that is ingrained in so many people, that has partially driven so many distributed residential solar power installations, is the same base emotion of the large survivalist movement across the planet.
Adding a few units like this, standard, to a residential home adds yet another level of resilience. One of these units plus an electric car, solar panels, batteries and backyard robotic farm fully filled out off the grid home.
As well, if you’re of the conspiracy side of the world – there’d be no fluoride in this water that could harm your precious bodily fluids.