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Drinking Water from Air - Wind Water Turbine

Submitted By: 

Ajish Alfred

Yes, you've read it right. The idea of collecting water from atmospheric moisture is pretty age old, but no one seemed to have implemented it in a practical way until Eole Water Company have successfully tested their prototype in a desert in abu-dhabi. They successfully collected around 1000 litters of water per day from their machine, a kind of wind turbine. The idea was developed by Marc Parent, the founder of Eole Water.

 

Wind Water Turbine

 

Before we learn how it works, let’s go through a few scientific terms;
 
Condensation
Condensation is simply the process of conversion of any matter from its gaseous state to its liquid state. It can be viewed as an opposite process of vaporization. Condensation is a natural phenomenon always happens in atmosphere, cooling down the rising water vapour forming clouds.
 
Humidity
Atmosphere is rich in water molecule. They reside in air as water vapour, the gaseous form of water. Humidity is the percentage of water vapour content of the air.
 
Dew point
Dew point is a particular temperature and pressure at which a humid atmosphere is 100% saturated, i.e. the atmosphere can't hold anymore water vapour at that temperature and pressure. If temperature drops below dew point at the same atmospheric pressure, dew occurs.
 

The sweating bottle example

The sweating bottle example
Take a bottle of ice cold water from fridge. Leave it on the table for a while. You can see tiny water droplets forms on the surface of the bottle.

Water Bottle

It happens because of condensation. The air surrounding the water bottle has enough water vapour in it. The cold water absorbs heat from the surrounding and the temperature of the air just touching the bottle surface falls below the dew point. Hence water can't stay longer in the atmosphere and forms water droplets on the surface of the bottle.
 

Water Bottle Sweating example

 

This is exactly what happens in the 'wind-water turbine' also.
 
 

Working

Water gets evaporated from water bodies like sea, lagoons etc. and forms water vapour over them. This water vapour is carried by the wind to very long distance. Once this wind reaches the wind water turbine, it sucks the humid air inside and collect water from it through the process of condensation. 

Wind Water Turbine Operation

The wind water turbine operation
The working of the wind water turbine includes the following steps
1)      Generate electric power from the wind
2)      It sucks the air inside
3)      Air is condensed inside the turbine body.
4)      Collects the water formed and is filtered and stored
5)      Excess heat is radiated through the back end of the turbine body
 

Internal View of Wind Water Turbine

Internal view of a wind-water turbine
 

Block Diagram of Turbine Operation

Block diagram of turbine operation
 
Generator
It has a gear system which converts low speed rotation of the turbine to very high speed. The internal generator rotates at this speed and generates more than enough electric power to run the following system. The extra power generated is routed to the local power grid.
 
Condenser
This section involves a cold compressor which can reduce the temperature inside the condensation unit, to a value well below the outside temperature. Temperature in this section is maintained below the dew point of the air. Thus condensation of the air which has been sucked in occurs, water droplets forms and get collected. These droplets form at a high rate producing around 65 litters per hour. The stored water is then filtered and pumped out.
 
Heat exchanger
It collects the heat from the cold compressor and radiates the excess heat out keeping the condenser section at a very low temperature.
 
Water filter
Atmosphere contains all sorts of impurities like dust, smoke, poisonous gas etc. So we can't expect the water collected from the atmosphere to be drinkable. The wind-water turbine has a water filtering section for purifying the water collected from the air.
 
 

Advantages & Conclusion

 
Advantages of wind-water turbine
-        No external power required
-        Perform well even in areas like desert where no water bodies present
-        Single turbine can generate enough water for more than 50 families per day
-        Can be easily deployed in large numbers
-        Generates electricity also which can power nearby houses or can be fed to a power grid
 
Conclusion
There is a long struggling journey between an idea and a practical implementation of the same. Most of the people give up their effort during the process, but a few come up successfully and their efforts are remembered ever, and those inventions become a land mark in the history of the humanity.
 
The Eole wind water turbine is a single solution for two major problems the world facing today, energy and pure drinking water. Let’s hope the technology is widely deployed around the globe as early as possible and leave little chance for future 'war for water'. The slogan of the company says it all, “Give us wind, we give you water”.