Now, a machine that makes drinking water from thin air

The Atmospheric Water-Generation Units created by Water-Gen use a "GENius" heat exchanger to chill air and condense water vapour.

April 28, 2014 02:44 pm | Updated May 23, 2016 04:09 pm IST - Jerusalem

An Israeli company has developed a new and inexpensive technology that produces drinking water from thin air, an advancement that can address the problem of water scarcity in developing countries such as India.

Using the technology, a litre of water can be produced for a mere Rs. 1.5, as compared to Rs. 15 for a litre of bottled water, the company claims. The Atmospheric Water-Generation Units created by Water-Gen use a “GENius” heat exchanger to chill air and condense water vapour.

The clean air is passed through the heat exchanger system where it gets dehumidified. The water is then removed from the air and collected in a tank inside the unit, CNN reported. “From there the water is passed through an extensive water filtration system which cleans it from possible chemical and microbiological contaminations,” co-CEO Arye Kohavi said.

“We believe that the products can be sold to developing countries in different civilian applications. For example in India, (drinking) water for homes is not available and will also become rare in the future.

“The Atmospheric Water-Generation Unit can be built as a residential unit and serve as a perfect water supply solution for homes in India,” said Mr. Kohavi.

The company claims its water generator is more energy efficient than other such companies as it uses the cooled air created by the unit to chill incoming air. “It looks simple, because air conditioning is extracting water from air. But the issue is to do it very efficiently, to produce as much water as you can per kilowatt of power consumed,” said Mr. Kohavi. The system can produce 250-800 litres of potable water a day depending on temperature and humidity conditions.

According to Mr. Kohavi, it only uses two cents’ worth of electricity to produce a litre of water.

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