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Water From Thin Air Image Credit: Speed Philippines
Water From Thin Air Image Credit: Speed Philippines

Water From Thin Air

FRESH AND POTABLE WATER IS AN ESSENTIAL part of our lives. But with things like over industrialization, pollution, deforestation, and whatnot threatening our most vital resource, we may lose access to clean water more rapidly than we can imagine. Thankfully, tech companies that focus on green innovations are here to save the day. 

Penn de Vera

Cody Friesen, an engineering and materials science professor at the Arizona State University, and founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water, has developed a water harvesting technology that makes use of solar panels— called Source—to pull drinkable water out of the air.

It may sound ridiculous, but it’s the real deal. Just think of the natural process of condensation—water forming on leaves when warm air hits its cold surface. Both sides of the Source generate heat and a proprietary material inside the panel absorbs the moisture from the air. Condensed moisture turns into water, which ends up in a 30-liter reservoir under the panel.

The technology has been under development for six years and the goal is to use the technology to go from “water scarcity to water abundance.” So far, Zero Mass’ Source has seen action in places like hurricane stricken Puerto Rico, schools and orphanages in war-torn Lebanon, and even high-end homes in California.

Clearly, the product caters to both ends of the consumer spectrum. It doesn’t come cheap, though, for $2,000 per panel that produces an average of two to five liters of water a day. Until this technology becomes more cost-effective, it wouldn’t hurt to learn and make water conservation practices a habit.



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