Every elementary school student learns about condensation. Water from the air accumulates on a cold surface, much like a toilet tank sweats in the summer or dew forms on grass overnight. The technology to extract water from air has been around for years - Waterex and Aquamaker both harvest water out of air using dehumidifiers. Now, though a British Columbian company in Kelowna called Element Four has come up with its version: the WaterMill.
The WaterMill attaches to the outside of your house and uses the electricity of about three light bulbs to condense moisture from outdoor air. A sensing device adjusts so output is highest early in the day when humidity is highest. Round like a ball, about a meter wide and with its two air filters that resemble eyes and a carbon filter shaped like a mouth, the machine kind of looks like a smiling robot. Air is drawn in through the filters and cooled with an internal element. The moisture that accumulates is then sterilized using UV light to zap out the bacteria and water is carbon filtered through a pipe.
Each day the WaterMill can produce 12 liters or 13 quarts of water for drinking and cooking. The company claims it will cost about three to four cents to produce one liter of water, a fraction of the price of bottled water. Eventually, the company hopes to power the WaterMill through solar panels or wind energy.
Air may be free, but the WaterMill is a costly appliance. WIRED Store, which opened last week in Manhattan's Flatiron District, is showcasing the WaterMill as one of its hottest products of the year. It costs $1,299 and will be available next year.
Via The Guardian and the WIRED Store
written by meteechart, November 25, 2008
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