WORLD


This machine makes drinking water from thin air

Baku, April 28 (AZERTAC). Water. A vital nutrient, yet one that is inaccessible to many worldwide.

The World Health Organization reports that 780 million people don't have access to clean water, and 3.4 million die each year due to water-borne diseases. But an Israeli company thinks it can play a part in alleviating the crisis by producing drinking water from thin air.

Water-Gen has developed an Atmospheric Water-Generation Units using its "GENius" heat exchanger to chill air and condense water vapor.

"The clean air enters our GENius heat exchanger system where it is dehumidified, the water is removed from the air and collected in a collection tank inside the unit," says co-CEO Arye Kohavi.

"From there the water is passed through an extensive water filtration system which cleans it from possible chemical and microbiological contaminations," he explains. "The clean purified water is stored in an internal water tank which is kept continuously preserved to keep it at high quality over time."

Capturing atmospheric humidity isn't a ground-breaking invention in itself -- other companies already sell atmospheric water generators for commercial and domestic use -- but Water-Gen says it has made its water generator more energy efficient than others by using the cooled air created by the unit to chill incoming air.

"Several companies tried to extract water from the air," says Kohavi. "It looks simple, because air conditioning is extracting water from air. But the issue is to do it very efficiently, to produce as much water as you can per kilowatt of power consumed."

He adds: "When you're very, very efficient, it brings us to the point that it is a real solution. Water from air became actually a solution for drinking water."

The system produces 250-800 liters (65-210 gallons) of potable water a day depending on temperature and humidity conditions and Kohavi says it uses two cents' worth of electricity to produce a liter of water.

Developed primarily for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Water-Gen says it has already sold units to militaries in seven countries, but Kohavi is keen to stress that the general population can also benefit from the technology.

He explains: "We believe that the products can be sold to developing countries in different civilian applications. For example in India, [drinking] water for homes is not available and will also be rare in the future. The Atmospheric Water-Generation Unit can be built as a residential unit and serve as a perfect water supply solution for homes in India."

Kohavi says Water-Gen's units can produce a liter of water for 1.5 Rupees, as opposed to 15 Rupees for a liter of bottled water.

Another product Water-Gen has developed is a portable water purification system. It's a battery-operated water filtration unit called Spring. Spring is able to filter 180 liters (48 gallons) of water, and fits into a backpack -- enabling water filtration on the go.

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