May 1, 2012
French Firm Creates Water From Air
It sounds impossible, but a French engineering firm has created a wind turbine that pulls water from the air and serves it up to thirsty communities and villages.
The firm, Eole Water, modified wind turbines to give them the ability to draw water from the air in humid climates, distilling it and making it safe to drink. These water-creating turbines are a part of a bid to help developing countries solve their water needs.
Eole Water already has a working prototype in Abu Dhabi which creates more than 350 gallons of water a day. Eole Water plans to sell these turbines, generating thousands of gallons a water later in the year.
Not only can these new, amazing machines create water from thin air, they also work as electricity generators, bringing two very precious commodities to developing communities and nations.
Director of marketing for Eole Water Thibault Janin told the Daily Mail, “This technology could enable rural areas to become self-sufficient in terms of water supply.”
“As the design and capabilities develop, the next step will be to create turbines that can provide water for small cities or areas with denser populations.”
The turbines look and work in much the same way as any other wind turbine you may have seen among plains and valleys. Air is sucked in through the nose of the turbine, where it is then directed into a cooling compressor. Here, the humidity from the air is extracted, condensed and collected. The resulting water then travels down stainless steel pipes into a storage tank, where it is then filtered and purified. The water can be used for drinking, farming, or washing.
According to Mr. Janin, 350 gallons of water a day is “enough to provide water for a village or town of 2,000 to 3,000 people,” he tells CNN.
He predicts communities in Africa and South America, as well as remote Asian Islands with little access to water most stand to benefit from these turbines,
“If you think of Indonesia, it has (thousands of) islands and they cannot centralize their water supply “¦ the geographic makeup of the country makes it impossible."
“This technique could enable them to overcome these problems and make the islands self-sufficient in a way that doesn´t harm the environment.”
As one might expect, this breakthrough technology isn´t affordable yet. Janin admits the cost of these machines could keep smaller and poorer communities and villages from implementing the turbines. As it stands, these turbines run between $660,000 and $790,000, depending on where they will be installed.
Eole Water doesn´t expect this price to remain sky high forever. As time goes on, industrial processes should allow the company to take advantages of economies of scale, according to CNN.
“We have just started the commercial aspect of this product but the price is not that expensive when you compare it with the long term solution that it gives,” he adds.
With so many villages and communities in dire need of clean water, hopefully Eole Water will be able to implement these turbines sooner rather than later.