What do you do when you’re in the desert and in dire need of drinking water? According to Eole Water, it’s wind turbines that could be the secret to creating water with dry desert air.
The French-based technology company is working in the United Arab Emirates to test a wind turbine that can produce hundreds of liters of drinking water every day from dry desert air. Tests began in October on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi and so far, the turbines have managed to produce 500 to 800 liters of water a day. The company is hoping to soon reach 1,000 liters a day.
So how does this work anyway? Intake vents around the nose cone of the turbine allow wind to enter, which is then heated by a generator and turned into steam. The steam is compressed, allowing moisture to collect, which is then condensed and the water is sent through pipes into stainless steel tanks for purification and filtration.
The turbine generates 30 kilowatts of electricity which delivers the water to the storage tanks and then powers the purification and filtration system. Winds at 15 miles an hour or more are needed in order to produce water.
Eole Water was founded in 2008, but the concept of producing water without access to a network has been around for more than 20 years. Mark Parent, the founder of Eole Water, was living on Saint Barthelemy Island when he first came up with the idea. He had no access to a water network, so he collected condensation from his air conditioning unit and paired the process with a wind energy system.
Clean energy AND clean water? Any ingenious (and necessary) idea like this is certainly fine by me!