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Wind Turbine Extracts Water From Air

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-the-most-of-moist dept.

Earth 227

An anonymous reader writes "Getting access to enough water to drink in a desert environment is a pretty tough proposition, but Eole Water may have solved the problem. It has created a wind turbine that can extract up to 1,000 liters of water per day from the air. All it requires is a 15mph wind to generate the 30kW's of power required for the process to happen. The end result is a tank full of purified water ready to drink at the base of each turbine."

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oh cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726811)

dune tech come to life!

Windtrap (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726817)

Finally, we've developed the technology to colonize Arrakis!

Re:Windtrap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727313)

Finally, we've developed the technology to colonize Arrakis!

Only if you're willing to kill off the sandworms.

Re:Windtrap (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727351)

I was just talking to my uncle Owen about the condensers on the south ridge. If I don't get them repaired by mid-day there will be hell to pay. Life is hard on a moisture farm.

Re:Windtrap (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727363)

Wasn't the air so devoid of moisture there that you needed a breathing apparatus to not dessicate that way?

Which brings me to a serious point: does that "up to 1000 liters of water per day" mean "If you put it right next to a lake with a really strong wind and the humidity is 99%"? The yield must depend on moisture. Is this going to be useful in the Sahara or just outside of Las Vegas?

Re:Windtrap (4, Informative)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727805)

The yield must depend on moisture. Is this going to be useful in the Sahara or just outside of Las Vegas?

From TFA:

A prototype unit was constructed and erected in Abu Dhabi 6 months ago and has consistently produced up to 800 liters of water a day.

But since that could mean in the middle of the desert or on the coast, your point still stands.

However, I wonder, if it has access to salt water, why not adapt it to use ocean water instead of the humidity from the air? Is it a problem of what to do with the salt and other minerals?

Re:Windtrap (4, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727891)

Abu Dhabi is a coastal city in the United Arab Emirates so it does mean on the coast.

The issue with many desalination plants is not the disposal of salts/minerals but keeping the system clean from all those salts/minerals. The issue being that salts/minerals have a tenancy to build up inside the pipes causing the system to need lots of maintenance. Desalination is a well known process and using regular turbines to power the plant is a good idea. This technology is for a different purpose.

Re:Windtrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727433)

I'm joining sardokar.... screw atredis.. never liked to play with them

Dune! (3, Funny)

neiras (723124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726827)

Okay, so windtraps exist. Now to genetically-engineer me a giant worm.

see also (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726837)

A Slashdot story from 2009 [slashdot.org] on the same idea. That one wasn't operational at the time, though (except as a research prototype), and this seems to be from a different group.

Re:see also (3, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727135)

One thing that piques my interest is cost. 800 liters/day is a significant amount of water, but what's the cost per gallon when amortized over 20 years? This isn't a small windmill, the main chamber is the size of a small house!

Re:see also (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727675)

I had the same question and did a little Googling. Using some huge assumptions:
* Wind turbine complexes cost about $1.2 - $2.5 M per MW nameplate capacity. Use the high end of that range because we lose some efficiency of scale, adjust to 30kW and we have about $75K for the turbine.
* They say the Abu Dhabi has been producing 800 L / day, and the nameplate production from the spec sheet is 550 - 1200 L / day. Let's go with 800 L / day consistently on the low-ish end.
* No clue on maintenance costs or lifespan, but lets give it 10 years

$75,000 / (800 L / day) / (365 * 10) = $0.025 / L

Municipal water rates vary all over the board, but they're generally between $0.30 and $3.00 / CCF (100 cubic feet). This is about $0.0001 to $0.001 / L, or 25 - 250 times cheaper than this unit

Re:see also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727607)

oh shit, another patent war waiting to happen, but i suppose they will wait until there is no more fresh, clean water before they start suing.

Re:see also (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727867)

So this is a fully operation moisture evaporator?

New problems (5, Funny)

glittermage (650813) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726839)

Now the birds will get dry eyes.

Re:New problems (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727227)

Won't someone please think of the cacti?!!!!

Re:New problems (4, Funny)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727527)

So they'll have red eye flights?

Re:New problems (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727565)

Now the birds will get dry eyes.

We will need to squeegee them off the turbine blades in order to confirm the eyes were dry before impact...

Re:New problems (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727857)

Now the birds will get dry eyes.

We will need to squeegee them off the turbine blades in order to confirm the eyes were dry before impact...

That is seriously hilarious.

Re:New problems (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727849)

Now the birds will get dry eyes.

Allergan Inc is planning Restasis for Aves in anticipation

Dune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726845)

Can you say "windtraps"? Now are we need are some Fremen to operate and maintain them.

Yes, but ... (5, Funny)

philarete (1598473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726853)

Will you need a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators?

Re:Yes, but ... (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727387)

Damn you! I was going to say that!!

Good first step (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726859)

Next up, sandtrout and lasguns!

"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (1, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726865)

Doesn't that include 0 liters? So they're possibly creating exactly what every rock, stick, and insect in the desert already does?

In case it's not clear, this whole business of "up to x whatevers" is ambiguous. Why don't they just tell us the the criteria involved. Like what different conditions can be expected to supply.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (4, Informative)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726927)

If you read the article you will see that an operational unit is already producing 800 liters a day consistently. I love this stuff, the energy and raw materials to sustain the human race are all around us, just waiting for the right technique to take advantage of them.

Soooo, that's arid area and probably fresh water shortages licked, what's up next.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (2, Interesting)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727005)

At 800 liters a day I'm wondering how many of these can operate without severely upsetting the desert ecosystem. If they're sucking out moister in the day, how much moisture will remain in the air to condense during the night for wildlife?

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727041)

I'd say it has about as much effect as wind turbines do on the wind, ie not much. Its only sucking moisture out of a very, very tiny level of the atmosphere, and only a very tiny cross-section of that. They just won't have any appreciable effect, no matter how many of them you install.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (4, Insightful)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727463)

no matter how many of them you install

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible

One has to wonder about the impact of several million of these, though. - One car doesn't do much polluting, but Los Angeles sure does have a lot of smog.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727591)

I wish there was a -1 Idiot mod.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727783)

Everything from about 33m down to the ground and from 35m up to space would retain all of its moisture, so an extremely small amount of moisture even if it was a solid sheet of condensers stretching all across the arid area. People just don't get how friggin HUGE the earth is.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (5, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727081)

Many deserts are also relatively humid.

Remember that deserts are defined by precipitation, not humidity. Deserts next to coastal areas lacking sufficient mountains to extract the humidity (such as Abu Dabi, referenced in TFA) are prime candidates.

This wouldn't work nearly as well in, say, Phoenix Arizona which is not only a desert, but is also arid and dry in every sense of the word.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (4, Informative)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727441)

You haven't been here in July or August, have you? Dewpoints are generally between 50 and 65 degrees F during those months (although, with an outdoor air temperature of 110F, the relative humidity is still low). Currently, we have a relative humidity of 9%, and a dewpoint of 25F, so it's pretty dry, but an evaporator operating below 25F will still condense water...

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727493)

Like a gf I had there once. Oh wait this is /. I meant my palms.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727735)

Like a gf I had there once. Oh wait this is /. I meant my palms.

We knew that's what you meant without you even saying it...

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (0, Troll)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727175)

At 800 liters a day I'm wondering how many of these can operate without severely upsetting the desert ecosystem. If they're sucking out moister in the day, how much moisture will remain in the air to condense during the night for wildlife?

This type of technology never goes to anybody who can actually use it. This will sound cynical, because I am, but this (impressive) invention is only likely to affect the ecosystem around the ivy league university that purchases one. If Marc is lucky, he'll get a military contract and our Troops will be able to enjoy gallon after life-giving gallon....after blowing up a village full of sleeping women and children, or if we're lucky, a glass with their antipsychotic meds.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (2)

olau (314197) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727581)

This type of technology never goes to anybody who can actually use it.

Huh? Who says oil sheiks don't need a Beverly Hills style swimming pool?

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727737)

This type of technology never goes to anybody who can actually use it.

Huh? Who says oil sheiks don't need a Beverly Hills style swimming pool?

Yeah or picture a sad looking, rented Eole, in 2015, pumping out water for wet t-shirt contests and cleaning up piss and puke puddles at Burning Man.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727247)

While everything should be properly assessed and verified, my arachnid sense tells me that most probably a great part of that water (if used for local human, animal and agriculture usage) will just evaporate again in a few days. My main doubt would be about agriculture (which also happens to need lots of water)., due to water filtering to lower layers and becoming trapped there.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (1)

myrdos2 (989497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727075)

I wonder how economical it is... is it cheaper than desalinizing sea water? If the answer's 'no', there's really no story here.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727139)

Well since wind turbines are a grand per kilowatt to install, lets say $50,000 install costs for 500 to 1000L per day, with reasonable maintenance. How long would it take to pay for itself at current desal costs, since over the first year it comes to 27 cents a liter?

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (4, Informative)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727299)

Whew quick update - a tenth of a cent per liter would be the target

http://www.canadianclear.com/desalination.html [canadianclear.com]

so it would have to be running ~150 years to equal that kind of throughput. With that said there are plenty of places it would be useful which are not accessable to desal tech without major infrastructure investment, so I can see value, while it's not the answer to all questions on fresh water.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (1)

myrdos2 (989497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727919)

Hmmm... you don't have to go wind though. If you can get 10 cents per KWh, and the system takes 30 KW, you're looking at three dollars/per hour to run this thing, or $72 per day. At 1000 litres per day, we're at 7.2 cents per liter. (Plus the cost of the system) Still seems pretty high for any kind of large-scale deployment - more than 72 times the (ideal) cost of desalinization.

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (2)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726947)

It requires 15mph wind at least, and the up to likely depends on air humidity (which is plentiful in coastal places like Dubai).

Re:"up to 1,000 liters of water per day"? (2)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726963)

A prototype unit was constructed and erected in Abu Dhabi 6 months ago and has consistently produced up to 800 liters of water a day.

other sites say that production was between 500 to 800L. six months ago was october, which has mean precipitation 0.4" there.

Oblig xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727495)

http://xkcd.com/870/

First panel.

Dang it Luke! (2)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726881)

Fix the Atmospheric Condensers.

Common Uncle Owen!! (4, Funny)

Gotung (571984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726883)

But I was going down to the Toshi stations to pick up some power converters!!!

Re:Common Uncle Owen!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727015)

http://btr.michaelkwan.com/2011/07/04/grammar-101-cmon-or-come-on-not-common/.

Re:Common Uncle Owen!! (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727117)

You can fool around with your friends later!

Re:Common Uncle Owen!! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727257)

Uncle Owen is common?

It's "come on" you fucking git. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727681)

Idiot. Moron. Dumbass.

So now what we really need... (2, Funny)

nam37 (517083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726939)

So now what we really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

Not really purified . . . (3, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726959)

Water from the air can still be contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide, a byproduct of combustion, which a lot of factories and power plants give off.

Re:Not really purified . . . (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727049)

Yeah, I hate it when H2O gets into my water.

Re:Not really purified . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727097)

Yes, that was the joke.

Re:Not really purified . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727271)

You're an idiot...

Re:Not really purified . . . (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727767)

Water from the air can still be contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide, a byproduct of combustion, which a lot of factories and power plants give off.

In the immortal words of Mr. Andrew Dice Clay...

OH!

Improved moisture vaporators? (2)

AirForce11 (628972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726965)

I don't think the vaporators on Tatooine produced power, too. What next? Will someone finally invent the hyperdrive?

This would also be useful on tropical islands... (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726973)

Smaller tropical islands are very humid but often don't have enough rainfall to keep an adequate freshwater supply, and as a result use desalination plants.

A turbine like this would work quite well in such an environment.

Re:This would also be useful on tropical islands.. (5, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727369)

This would also be useful for areas such as rural parts of central Texas, where the water table is so low that drilling a reliable well is dicey, the humidity is high, and the wind is fairly constant for most of the year.

For a small farm that tries to be as off-grid as possible, other than the noise factor from windmills, this would be ideal. If the water yield is good enough, it would mean irrigation is taken care of regardless of drought conditions.

I just hope this technology doesn't just fade away as many others have in the past. There is definitely a use for this around the world, as usable fresh water becomes harder and harder to find.

Re:This would also be useful on tropical islands.. (1)

icsEater (1093717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727407)

That would be really cool. Thought I imagine the maintenance costs (especially due to corrosion from the salty air and tropical storms) may make it a little less attractive than conventional means.

Re:This would also be useful on tropical islands.. (1)

olau (314197) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727621)

People are building wind turbines at sea at the moment [dongenergy.com] , so corrosion problems are apparently solvable.

steam from air ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726987)

Interesting physics they use.

"Air is drawn in through vents in the nose of the turbine and a generator heats it producing steam. That steam is then fed through a cooling compressor to form moisture that gets condensed into water."

then what ? they take the water and produce GOLD so you can afford to buy a place in in the desert ??

why not just put up regular electric wind farms (4, Insightful)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727007)

...Then the people consuming the electricity can chose to use it to run moisture water condensers, or make electricity for things like running air conditioning?

Or, win/win: Put up wind farms that generate electricity.
Run electricity to dwellings. Have the dwellings run air conditioning systems that also collect condensed water.

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727085)

Condensed A/C water would not be my first choice of drink...

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727379)

Ewwww. Water condensed from Anonymous Cowards. How gross.

I seem to recall a story about a distillery in Scotland that used urine from diabetics because if the high sugar content. Also somewhat gross.

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727089)

Ah, I read the 2nd URL ( http://www.eolewater.com/gb/our-products/range.html [eolewater.com] ), and see that the company does make PV and grid-tie systems, so my previous is now moot, as they already have systems to do electricity generation as well.

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727159)

Because the needs of a moisture collection array and home climate control are different.

To extract maximal water from the air, you need to keep using different air - once you've wrung all the moisture out of a given volume, you move on. So this works well outdoors.

For climate control like home air conditioning, you want to keep cooling the same volume of air - it's much more efficient to keep cold air cold than to make warm air cold. So ideally, you wring the mosture out once, and after that you're keeping the dry air cool.

You could make this work by constantly turning over the air inside with air-to-air heat exchangers (to lose as little energy as possible), but it's still going to be less efficient.

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727183)

Probably because the amount of water in the volume of air within your home is not large enough to be useful.

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727415)

Putting the condenser behind the turbine ensures that it gets a nice airflow, improving its efficiency.

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (3, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727439)

Put up wind farms that generate electricity.
Run electricity to dwellings. Have the dwellings run air conditioning systems that also collect condensed water.

For one thing, a purpose-built device will be much more efficient at its one intended purpose. Just how much water do you get as a side-effect of running an air conditioner? The prototype of this turbine consistently extracts 800 litres of water a day.

For another thing, in "developing" areas, it will be easier to put in a few self-contained devices than to build out a complete infrastructure. Clean water is essential to life, but air conditioning isn't, and devices like this will provide useful water as soon as they are installed. How soon does your plan start providing nontrivial amounts of drinking water?

And in "developing" areas, it is more likely possible that one of these can be installed in the middle of town, than that every home will be able to afford to have air conditioning installed. I'm not even sure if a whole town could afford to buy one of these things, but maybe an international aid organization will pay for it. But who will pay for an air conditioning unit for each home in a town?

steveha

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (2)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727457)

Because then the electricity is mostly wasted. The problem with energy is not creating it but STORING and TRANSPORTING it. Batteries are notoriously ineffecient, and you lose energy every mile you ship it. Everytime it hits a transformer you lose a lot more.

You make it at location X, send it to someplace else where it may or may not be useful. You can't make too much, or it causes problems, nor can you depend on your wind energy to say cool your home because it isn't always windy.

This however is an innovative idea. If you have a dedicated wind turbine that constantly creates fresh water, then the worst that happens is it overflows the container.

In effective it maximizes the use of the electricity by using it when and where it is available

Re:why not just put up regular electric wind farms (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727705)

Because feeding power into the grid has major consequences for storage and stability if your source is variable. If you can directly feed some process that has been designed to tolerate this variability, then its only necessary to store the output.

The variable wind powered dehumidifiers will displace the electrical power (from stable base load plants) that was previously used to desalinate water.

Moisture Vaporators! (1, Funny)

euxneks (516538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727035)

Uncle Owen: "What I really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators." C-3PO: "Vaporators? Sir, my first job was programming binary load lifters very similar to your vaporators in most respects."

Re:Moisture Vaporators! (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727393)

I don't remember C-3PO doing that binary load lifters thing in parts I, II, or III . . . wasn't his first job helping Anakin's Mom or something . . . C-3PO was apparently fudging his resume to get a job in a really tough job market.

Re:Moisture Vaporators! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727629)

C3PO's memory was wiped sometime before IV.

Re:Moisture Vaporators! (5, Funny)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727747)

As far C-3PO knows, the binary load lifters story is true. Shortly after the conclusion of Episode III, C-3PO contracted the Tyrell Corporation to wipe its memory banks and implant the memories of another robot. C-3PO effectively has no recollection of Episodes I, II, or III. Lucky bastard.

Re:Moisture Vaporators! (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727487)

Uncle Owen: "What I really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators." C-3PO: "Vaporators? Sir, my first job was programming binary load lifters very similar to your vaporators in most respects."

Er ... you need to get out more.

Weather implications? (1, Redundant)

TinyPterosaur (2547992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727039)

Maybe this is the paranoid eco-terrorist hippy in me, but I wonder what kind of affect these things would have in already arid desert environments. I imagine that a field of a thousand of these things could seriously affect the local ecosystem, and perhaps the weather in neighboring areas. Though this would be good for Arrakis. Maybe Mars too actually. Now wouldn't that be something. Wouldn't even need to land near the poles to get a little H2O.

Re:Weather implications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727177)

Except there's essentially zero "H" and nowhere near enough "O" in the Martian atmosphere to condense H2O.

Re:Weather implications? (4, Funny)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727615)

But what about the 2? Is there enough 2 in the Martian atmosphere??

Re:Weather implications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727741)

I love this comment. That is all. More mod points, please.

Re:Weather implications? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727479)

Water doesn't vanish. People use the water, then dump it back into the system. We are basically talking about a faster uptake system, which will speed up output as well. Same cycle, just faster.

Re:Weather implications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727667)

I just modded you Troll because there isn't a -1 Idiot.

Re:Weather implications? (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727787)

That is exactly my question. My car doesn't pollute too awful much, but all of the 'my cars' in Chicago? That's a different story. And if even as another poster said, all this does is speed up the uptake and output of water into the natural system, what will that do?

Would we be robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Needs high humidity (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727185)

Note where they're testing it: Abu Dhabi, a coastal city at the edge of a desert. Current humidity in Abu Dhabi is 51%. The CIA Factbook says the UAE's water situation is a "lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification". That's the ideal site, with both humidity and wind.

Think of this as a form of desalinization. Coastal, or even offshore, windmills producing both power and water.

Stillsuit to follow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727199)

During the press conference, a prototype full-body suit was also demonstrated. This suit, dubbed a "stillsuit," collects 99% of the moisture a person expels, and distills it into potable water. A company executive described the design while a reporter, who introduced himself only as Paul, was given the opportunity to try it on. The entire staff, who were all present for the press conference, were shocked when the reporter knew precisely how to put it on, without instruction, despite never having seen the complicated contraption prior to the press conference.

Dehumidifier + Wind turbine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727287)

So someone hooked up a dehumidifier to a wind turbine and it's news? Sorry I didn't RTFA :-)

If we have energy coming from wind turbines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727335)

... why can't we use that to separate/capture Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules from the air, and then recombine them (with the same energy from the turbines) into pure water? Run it over some rocks to add minerals, and voila - Evian!

Waiting to see the objections to this.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727367)

I'm pretty sure that the NIMBY crowd are going to remain silent on it, but still... I'm sure that somebody's going to come up with some reason why these shouldn't go up.

Not such a novel idea (1)

MiskatonicAcademic (2620997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727459)

So a few years ago I met this old retired engineer who explained what he'd been doing in his working life. The one thing he was most proud of was being part of a project where (waaait for it...) turbines that condensed water from the air were installed somewhere in Asia (can't remember exactly where) where drinkable water was hard to come by. Although I applaud this effort, it seems that the concept is hardly novel and similar machines have been used before.

Re:Not such a novel idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727649)

So, you're saying "some guy" did this "somewhere" before?

Poor turbine design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727489)

Propeller type windmills are inefficient. He should use a vertically mounted cylider (think three blade squirrel cage) and mount the distiller vertically. It will operate at a greater range of speeds, will always face the wind, and put minimal sheer force on the turbine shaft.

Re:Poor turbine design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727923)

Probably be bad if it was only generating electricity. But according to the description, the nose of the turbine is also used as air intake and seems like there's compression and heat exchange going on. So air is also used in cooling and compression, on top of it's requirement of being a power and water source.

Lars moisture farm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727511)

Sweet.. Now the technology exist to live in the Tatooine dessert like Luke Skywalker's Aunt and Uncle.

I now can open up my own Lars Moisture Farm.

Significant Wind Speed Requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727543)

"As long as an area meets the wind speed requirements this is a completely self contained system"

I'm curious as to what happens if it does not meet the wind speed requirements - does water production cease, and is all generated energy lost? Frequent wind speeds of at least 15 mph are not very common in most small wind turbine installations, so this requirement may significantly limit the locations where this can operate. Of course, this can be improved with more efficient turbine designs, larger capacity turbines, or energy storage systems (batteries and inverters), allowing it to produce water at lower wind speeds and to therefore operate more often. Those solutions would certainly increase cost. Granted, this is still a prototype so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

It look like their solar powered system has batteries and an inverter which would allow for energy storage when power is too low. This would allow for *some* water production at any site which produces *some* power - the rate of production would vary with power, but at least there would not be a minimum power required to produce *any* water.

Either way, the concept sure is cool for remote sites.

I don't get it. (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727571)

I don't get it. Why does it have to heat the air up ("to produce steam") ??

Why can't it just take the air and cool it down, instead of wasting energy for heating?

I've got nothing to add but, (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727585)

I'm just trying to thin out some of the Dune and Star Wars comments.

Why heat the air? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727693)

It claims to heat the (hot, desert) air to "produce steam" which is then condensed. The water is already in the air, you don't need to heat it, just cool it to grab the water out.

Either this is a crap article, or its one of those over-unity perpetual motion scams.

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