Thursday, July 26, 2012

Interesting Combination of Technologies

Cool Stuff We Like discusses a wind turbine that pulls water out of the air:
"Give us wind, we give you water."
That's the slogan of  Eole Water, the French company that has developed a wind turbine able to condense up to 1,500 liters of clean water a day right out of thin air. The WMS1000 system is self-contained: the water condenser unit is powered by an internal wind-driven generator. In addition to water, it produces 30kW of electricity.  
Wind turbines are not, by themselves, a good choice for producing electricity unless you are in a reliable, high wind area, because you need a reliable energy source as well, or a huge battery backup.  But this is an interesting combination.  As long as you have a large tank in which to store the water it is condensing out of the atmosphere, the energy output is simply a nice side effect, because the turbine does not have to run all the time.  I spoke to someone recently who spent $60,000 on a well--and did not have a useful result.  Something like this would be very attractive for that reason.


  1. If the produced water can be stored in a series of elevated tanks, then it could also be used to power a series of micro turbines to charge the same bank of batteries that the wind turbine charges. This movemet of water from tank to tank could produce power on the less windy days.

  2. There's also the WaterMill, a condenser by a Canadian company. The specs aren't published so it's unclear how much power it requires, but it ought to function on inverted power from batteries charged by solar. The size of the WaterMill seems much more useful, especially considering the cost of the Eole Water turbine. (And I've gotta wonder if the byproduct heat from the condenser could get the water tank up to pasteurizing temperature.)

    In response to the other anonymous poster, you'd probably want to leave the water in an elevated tank so that you get water pressure. The energy generated from water falling once over "micro-turbines" is miniscule, plus you'd lose water pressure. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Put those turbines in a river instead!


  3. If they could miniaturize this technology so that it could be used on a 40-45 foot sailboat, they could make a mint. Currently many boats have windmills for battery charging, especially the long-haul cruisers. On these boats reverse osmosis water purifiers are used. They are tricky to operate and can get contaminated easily. If you are going to lay them up for any period of time you have to go through an extensive pickling process. They also use lots of battery power.


  4. This will also combat Global-Warming/Climate-Change/ Weather-motivated-governmental-power grabs, as a greenhouse gas, water vapor is considered to have many times the influence of Carbon Dioxide.

  5. Almost a million dollars for 1000 liters of water per day, what a bargain!

    Assuming the price doesn't go up and the performance doesn't go down.