Around the world, approximately 2.1 billion people do not have immediate access to clean drinking water.
A startup called Zero Mass Water aims to make clean water easily accessible to more people around the world. In 2015, it launched its first product, Source — a solar panel array that harvests and filters water from vapour in the air. The company has installed the devices in 11 countries, including Chile, Jordan, Peru, and the US, where it became available in late 2017.
Source is adding Australia to that list. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) granted Zero Mass $420,000 to install 150 Source hydropanels in several cities, including Sydney, Perth, and Adelaide.
Each panel costs $2,000 (plus a $500 installation fee) and generates an average of 2 to 5 litres of water daily, depending on levels of humidity and sunlight. Source can work anywhere, and many arrays are deployed in deserts where water is scarce.
How it Works
The panels use sunlight to produce heat, which allows them to collect water vapour from the air. The harvested vapour is sterilized and turned into a liquid.
The device adds minerals to increase the water’s pH levels (to make it taste more like bottled water), and stores the water underneath the panels in a reservoir that can hold 30 litres. Lastly, the water travels from the reservoir through a pipe to a faucet.