Remember those sweltering summer days when the air was so muggy you could practically drink it? A new home appliance is promising to make that possible by converting outdoor air into 450 gallons of clean water a day.
To solve that dilemma, US Water Revolution company has developed a portable water generator, which extracts water from the air by sucking it in and cooling it down, much like an air conditioner, but a lot more efficient. “We bring the water in the air to the dew point and recycle the cold air so we can reuse it to cool the water even more,”
Originally envisioned as an antidote to the shortage of clean drinking water in the world, the US Water Revolution has the ability to condense, filter and sterilize water for about 65 cents for 470 gallons!
Water Revolution isn’t the first company to market such a device, but this units are more energy efficient because they reuse the cool air generated while converting water vapors to liquid to create even more water. He’s also working on adapting the technology for personal use in clothes dryers and dehumidifiers that could speed drying time by as much as a third.
Most environments around the world have plenty of water vapor that can be converted into liquid water. In fact, if you could wring out all the water in the air around the world and pour it into a lake, its volume would equal about 3,095 cubic miles, or more than that of Lake Superior, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Water Revolution estimates that its machine can convert between 10 percent and 40 percent of vapor into liquid water, depending on the relative humidity.
In 91 degree heat with 69 percent relative humidity, the machine tops out at a little less than 13 quarts per day. And because water vapor is continually replenished though the planet’s water cycle, removing it from the air could continue indefinitely without disrupting local ecosystems.
Other companies have begun producing upright units for indoor use or scaled-up outdoor units supported by fans and compressors that are capable of producing hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water per day. Miami Beach, Fla.-based Air Water Corporation, for example, can produce more than 1,000 gallons of water from a 3.5-ton mobile unit that resembles a small trailer.
A camouflaged version is specifically aimed at the military, and units are already in use by the U.S. Marines, Indian Border Police and South African military, among other worldwide clients.
More water, less energy
Greg Kail, spokesman for the American Water Works Association (AWWA), a nonprofit society focused on improving the quality and supply of drinking water, said he wasn’t familiar enough with the technology of atmospheric water generators to evaluate specific claims.
But he agreed that looming water shortages will require technological innovations, as well as more efficient devices in the home, better management at the utility level and smarter long-term planning.
As for the energy-efficient strategy, the unit can slow the airflow through the condenser if it needs to be cooled to a lower temperature to reach the dew point, meaning it would linger in a drier environment.
Even the Water Revolution has its limits, though. Getting water when the relative humidity is less than 30 percent or 35 percent is “really pushing it,” he said.
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