Future of the Environment

This device pulls water from thin air

A worker checks water collection from nets, set up by a group of community leaders called 'Peruvians Without Water', used to trap water from the moisture in fog, on the hillside of Villa Maria Del Triunfo in Lima, Peru, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

A company have designed a solar panel that creates drinkable water by extracting moisture from the air. Image: REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Brian Spaen
Writer for Green Matters, Green Matters
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Zero Mass Water began a revolution in the water industry -- the ability to create drinkable water out of thin air. Their new project, Source, is able to do this by pulling moisture from the air with the help of solar energy generation. It’s helped in the restoration efforts at Puerto Rico, and founder Cody Friesen showed off the device at CES 2018.

Source is known as a “hydropanel” that can extract moisture from the air with nanomaterials. Once it gathers up the moisture, it goes through a reservoir that adds magnesium and calcium into it. All of this is operated by energy from the sunlight with solar panels on the device. A two-panel system can create up to 10 liters of drinking water per day.

Image: Green Matters

At CES, Friesen explained that Source aims to fix issues in our current water distribution. We know where water from the device comes from instead of water that flows through various pipes and into our kitchen sink. It creates an easier approach to drinking safe water instead of needing to purchase bottled water. Being fully powered by the sun, it’s able to create water in remote areas, making it a brilliant option for older buildings and developing countries.

Image: Green Matters

“Today, everybody has a supercomputer in your pocket that can communicate wirelessly,” Friesen said at CES, who named Zero Mass Water an Innovation Awards Honoree. “So if you built a town now, you’d never put in wires. Solar panels, same thing. Our technology enables a similar leapfrog of infrastructure for water.”

Even better, Source’s hydropanels provide a wealth of information for the consumer and the company. Each device can document how much water it generates, the purity of it, and what the local weather conditions are. Presumably, this can all help in estimating how much water can be created. Zero Mass Water is able to gather data from all Source devices with its ability to connect to the internet, and it can be operated through a smartphone app.

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Source has been installed in developing countries and has aided in the Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts. Two locations have been set up for the public to bring bottles to fill. Friesen also noted that they’ve helped “underserved communities in the United States that have failing infrastructures.”

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Released back in November for United States households, it costs $4,500 for a two-panel system with installation. It’s a large price tag for a device aimed exclusively for water consumption, but for those who buy packages of bottled water to drink, that cost adds up over the years. One device can keep 70,000 plastic bottles out of the environment over its lifetime.

“SOURCE is the world’s first and only Hydropanel, but it is far more than that,” Friesen writes in a blog post. “Water that is limitless, optimized for taste and health, kept that way by advanced on-board technology, and digital in your knowledge of its perfection.”

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