Inspiration can come from small, even odd, observations. Noticing how much water an air conditioner collected, Eole Water founder Marc Parent went on a quest to develop a system that could extract the water contained in air. Looking to make use of renewable energy source, Parent turned to wind energy.
Ten years on, a prototype wind power-driven Eole Water system for the past six months has been consistently producing as much as 800 liters-a-day of clean water in Abu Dhabi, according to a Geek.com report. The company's now negotiating with manufacturers to manufacture the system at commercial scale.
Standing 34 meters tall, the French company's WMS 1000 wind turbine provides electrical power for a generator that turns the moisture in the desert air into steam. The steam is then pumped through a heat exchanger, where it's cooled and condensed. The liquid water's then fed through a filtration system to purify it, and subsequently into a storage tank at the unit's base.
The Eole Water system is capable of condensing and and storing up to 1,000 liters of water a day, according to Eole. The field-tested WMS 1000 wind turbine has a 13-meter diameter rotor and produces 30kW of clean, renewable power. Ambient air for evaporation and condensation flows through vents in the turbine's nascelle, or nose.
In testing since November, 2011 at Mussafah, near Abu Dhabi in the UAE, the WMS 1000 has been able to collect more than 62 liters/hour with an average humidity rate of 45% and an average temperature of 24 degrees Celsius (~75.2 degrees Fahrenheit). The quality of the water for drinking, its potability, was far higher than standards set by the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
* Graphic courtesy: Eole Water
An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.