Growing up in Florida, I’m well aware of the fact that some air conditioning units can create quite a bit of water from the thin air (actually, if you’ve been to South Florida, you know it’s more like thick air). But I guess I wasn’t as inventive as Marc Parent, founder of French startup Eole Water. Marc, while working as an engineer in the Caribbean, was “reducing his bottled water costs by siphoning the condensation from his air conditioner,” Recharge News notes, and this triggered the idea for a wind turbine that could pull water out of the air in sites highly in need of this fundamental of life.
The wind turbine, picture above and below, is in the testing phase in the Abu Dhabi desert (in Mussafah, to be specific). Even from the desert air, it can pull 500 to 800 liters of clean water each day. With some improvements, Eole Water says that could be increased to 1,000 liters. All the wind turbine needs is wind speeds of at least 15 miles per hour.
“The process is based on the same experience you see after you have taken a shower and every surface is covered with condensation — we do the same with the WMS1000 but just on a much larger scale,” says Eole Water marketing director Thibault Janin.
Here’s a little more info from Megan Treacy of TreeHugger:
“The 30-kW wind turbine houses and powers the whole system. Air is taken in through vents in the nose cone of the turbine and then heated by a generator to make steam. The steam goes through a cooling compressor that creates moisture which is then condensed and collected. The water produced is sent through pipes down to stainless steel storage tanks where it’s filtered and purified.”
“Under full-time development since May 2010, the technology has attracted huge interest among industrial players, and partnerships have been forged with about 40 companies, including Emerson, Siemens, Danfoss, Carel and Arcelor Mittal,” Recharge News notes.
We always knew that wind power used a lot less water — I didn’t know it could be used to produce water, though!
Image Credits: © Eole Water