Hydropanels are an innovative and sustainable way to extract clean, reliable drinking water from the air off-grid.
How Hydropanels Work
Hydropanels (such as those made by Arizona-based SOURCE®) work by using a solar panel to power fans that pull pure water vapour out of the air and the warmed air inside the panel turns the water vapour into liquid water. The pure collected water is then mineralized by the system for health and taste and the self-contained system circulates the water and keeps it clean. The water gathered by the hydropanels can be plumbed directly into a home to create a sustainable water supply.
How Much Water Do They Produce?
SOURCE®’s figures say that each of its R3 Hydropanels can produce the equivalent of approximately 180 standard bottles of water per month (with at least one panel for every two people living in the home recommended) and its systems can be configured to meet any water volume demand, e.g. from a single-family household to whole communities and everything in between. In addition to the R3 hydropanel, the company also makes a commercial version for worksites, schools, and hospitality, including hotels, venues, and restaurants.
Helping To Reduce Plastic
SOURCE® says that its system can help to reduce plastic waste because the water produced by a single hydropanel can eliminate the need for 54,000 single-use plastic water bottles over its 15-year lifespan.
One of advantages of hydropanels is that they can provide an inexhaustible supply of water anywhere, such as for communities (or businesses) in remote areas not connected to municipal water. An example on the SOURCE® website highlights how colonias (the unincorporated communities mostly in border counties in Texas) could be helped by the use of hydropanels.
Backed By Bill Gates and Blackrock
In March 2022, it was reported that Bill Gates and investment management company Blackrock were some of the high-profile investors supplying funding to SOURCE® global.
What Does This Mean For Your Organisation?
These hydropanels are an example of how existing green energy ideas and new technology can be combined in a way that can help solve one of the world’s challenges – getting drinking water supplies to areas that don’t have it (such as 800,000 villages in India). The fact that the system is able to provide a potentially endless supply of pure water in any volume simply from the air, with no need to be connected to any large water infrastructure (pipe networks, cleaning, and pumping stations) makes it sustainable, green, and a very efficient way to solve a major problem. This could provide benefits around the world for communities and businesses.
Desalination plants and other similar ideas are tied to coastal areas yet the hydropanel system can be deployed anywhere, giving it much wider global scope. The fact that it can save on plastic waste by eliminating the need for bottled water is another big bonus at a time when plastic waste and microplastics are polluting existing water sources around the world. It’s also worth noting, therefore, that water produced from the air should also be free of microplastics making it purer than most of the water the developed world drinks at the moment.
By Mike Knight