The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning to install ‘water generators’ that turn moisture in the air into drinking water for public consumption.
Powered by environmentally-friendly solar energy, the ‘hyper-dehumidifiers’ provide a plentiful and uninterrupted water supply from the humid UAE air.
About 20 of the dehumidifiers can produce 6,700 litres of fresh water a day when local conditions are at 78°F (26°C) and 60 per cent humidity.
The technology is being tested as part of a pilot this October, but if successful it will be rolled out in Masdar – a futuristic ‘sustainable city’ currently being built next to Abu Dhabi airport.
Masdar is powered by an impressive 22-hectare (54-acre) field of 87,777 solar panels, as well as additional panels on the roofs of its buildings.
It’s these solar panels that power the generators’ massive fans, which themselves suck moisture-packed air from the surrounding environment.
Pipes filled with this moisture-packed air are circulated with a liquid coolant, to cool the air down until it reaches what’s known as the ‘dew point’ – when water vapour condenses into liquid water.
Once the liquid forms, it is collected and purified, allowing the public to fill their water bottles for free around dedicated stations.
The project is being run by US-based water technologies firm Aquovum, in partnership with Masdar and Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi.
According to experts, the carbon-free technology will help relieve the UAE’s reliance on desalinating seawater and expensive imports of bottled water in what’s one of the hottest climates on Earth.