Imagine, regardless of the dry climate of a place like the Arizona desert, a completely off-grid and a self-contained unit, that could harvest drinking water from sunlight and air. Sounds like fiction?
Zero Mass Water created SOURCE, which is an innovative and elegant solution that has been reportedly producing high-quality and delicious drinking water from hydro-panels.
The water-harvesting technology with Zero Mass has been in the works for the past six years. It was first developed at the Arizona State University, where Cody Friesen, was teaching engineering and materials science. Founder and chief executive, Friesen stated that their goal was to use technology to get a water-abundant scenario.
How does it work?
SOURCE uses a multi-step system and has special nano-materials. The hydro-panel has a middle strip, and there is a proprietary porous material on either side of the middle section that generates heat. Inside the panel, there is another proprietary material that absorbs the moisture from the air. The hydro-panel uses sunlight and takes the water out of those materials thereby creating a process which is quite similar to water forming on grass.
Zero Mass’ network operations centre can observe the performance of the panels that have been distributed in around 8 countries on 3 continents. Mike Robinson, a mechanical engineer at Zero Mass states that they could teach the panel to always optimize the water that it makes.
Costs & Benefits
The typical setup for a home could cost around $2,000-$4,500. And, each panel could hold around 30 litres in a reservoir. Zero Mass could soon provide clean, quality drinking water to schools, homes, and businesses all over the world. And, the setup could be done from a hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico to high-end homes in California.
Zero Mass Water has a long way to go, and Dr Ashok Gadgil, Chair Professor of Safe Water and Sanitation in the Environmental Engineering department at UC Berkeley, rightly poses questions about the cost-effectiveness and right affordability for the water.