The Klimatec’s Base 1 AirWater machine is a promising technology for supplying clean drinking water from ambient air. The machine is able to pull as much as 5 gallons of water from ambient air every 24 hours.It does this by blowing air into chambers where cooled coils cause condensation. The resulting water is run through an active carbon filter to remove any solids and then through a UV chamber to kill off bacteria. The AirWater has a heater and refrigeration unit so it can dispense hot or cold water.
This is could be a super cool fountain for geeks to congregate around in the office; however, not only does it suck water from air, but it also pulls loads of electricity from your wall outlet. While Klimatec has a solar-powered version, it will take a 480W panel to operate, so that just means some big solar panels taking up space, and probably significantly adding to the price of the machine.
This energy factor makes it impractical for both of its two foreseeable markets – first, the aforementioned high-tech/geek-friendly office space, and second, places short on water supply, and therefore likely short on money and electricity. Considering it can come equipped with a mini-fridge, I have a feeling the former is more likely who they have their eye on, especially considering the lower tech, more practical water-trapping solutions already available for rural areas. The only other market I can picture is richer countries who feel the tightening up on fresh water supplies. By the time something like this is practical to the public, the technology may be more energy efficient.
Five gallons of fresh, filtered water every 24 hours is quite a lot, especially when used in areas where water is tight and people know how to conserve drinking water. But that still means it only provides enough drinking water for a handful of people every day. Quite a few of these will be needed to handle large numbers of users. Also, how much humidity in the air is required to get the amount of water claimed? And how much will this sucker cost? Dvice.com contacted Klimatec for these last two details and is waiting for a reply. We’ll keep an eye out for any updates. Despite all these issues, it is a technology well worth pursuing and I’m glad to see Klimatec making a good start of it.
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