#atmosphere #AWG #Water
Have you ever noticed how water can appear seemingly out of nowhere in the early morning? Condensation from the “dew point” can pull water out of the air as temperatures shift, leaving grass slightly damp and giving the plants a little drink… Indigenous peoples such as the Inca and survivalists have used some rather simple methods to harness this for drinking water. Using a dehumidifier or air conditioner results in water that has been pulled from the air in a similar manner but it is not safe for drinking unless filtered for contaminants.
Innovative designs are now competing to be the best version of this natural process using high tech materials like desiccants, mesh, gel-film, “nanorods”, or other means of speeding up condensation. While this seems like a revolutionary way to bring water to places that simply don’t have it pulling water from air is very energy intensive. Unless such condensation is a byproduct of other solar or hydrogen fuel cell activities, powering Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) needs to come from low carbon sources like solar to be viable.
Of the six systems in the article below from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers two are solar powered and the others solve for the energy issues in different ways. All of the methods described have potential to produce the vital resource, it will be interesting to see if the AWG tech solution can augment increased pressing needs for water in the years to come.