London: Imagine wind turbines that conjure drinking
water out of thin air and how they could help developing countries
overcome their water scarcity.
French engineering firm Eole Water modified typical
power-generating turbines to allow them to distill drinking water
out of air. A prototype in Abu Dhabi already produces 62 litres of
water an hour.
Eole hopes to sell turbines generating a 1,000 litres a day later
this year. The turbine can generate both energy and water with
nothing else except humid air.
"This technology could enable rural areas to become
self-sufficient in terms of water supply. As the design and
capabilities develop, the next step will be to create turbines
that can provide water for small cities or areas with denser
populations," said Thibault Janin, director of marketing at Eole
Water, the Daily Mail reports.
The turbine works in the same way as other turbines around the
world do. Air gets sucked into the nose of the turbine and is
directed to a cooling compressor. The humidity is then extracted
from the air and condensed and collected.
The water then travels down stainless steel pipes under the force
of gravity into a storage tank, where - with some filtering and
purification - it is then ready to drink, wash, or cultivate with.
Janin said one generator producing 1,000 litres daily is 'enough
to provide water for a village or town of 2,000 to 3,000 people.'
He said communities in Africa and South America, and remote
islands in Asia with little access to safe drinking water, would
be the types of communities which stood to benefit the most from
Each turbine costs around 400,000 pounds, with a life expectancy
of 20 years. However, Janin noted that prices would fall as
economies of scale came into play.