Abu Dhabi hosts successful test of prototype water condensation, using wind power.
A revolutionary way to condense water from the desert air, powered by – and housed within – a wind turbine has been tested in the UAE since October of 2011, by French innovation startup Eole Water.
The ground-mounted version has proven that it can condense up to 800 litres a day from air with just the 15-20% humidity typical of the region, and the company believes that a tower top turbine will produce levels well over 1,000 litres (264 gallons) a day.
Water marketing director Thibault Janin told ReCharge News: “The prototype is not yet on a mast because we wanted to check that it could operate in difficult desert conditions first — and so far the results have been very good. And would be even better, of course, if it was placed in coastal or offshore areas where there is higher humidity and more wind.”
Now that the ground test worked, the next step will be to erect the wind turbine-cum-air-condensation system.
Since the test suggests that in desert conditions, the turbine on a tower can produce 1,000 litres of drinking water, the company believes that in coastal regions or islands, with typically higher humidity, it could produce twice that amount.
The turbine needs at least seven-metre-per-second winds to generate 30 kW of electricity to move the water to the storage tanks and to power its purification system.
With the extreme water crisis in the MENA region, this innovative technology brings a surprising European invention to a region home to Israel’s world leadership in water tech.
Some big companies like Germany’s Siemens have forged a partnership with Eole to help develop the novel technology – borne of an encounter with the condensation from an air conditioner in the Caribbean - that has attracted huge interest among industrial players.
“Water shortage is a real problem — 1.1 billion people in the world cannot get clean water, and 15,000 die every day due to diseases caused by drinking unsanitary water,” Janin says. “Politicians around the world understand this is something that will only get worse”.
(Related: Groasis Waterboxx Grows Trees In Deserts)
“But, with our system, we believe we have something that will help normal people have the means to do something to avert a crisis that could be only five or ten years off.”