French technology start-up Eole Water is working on a wind turbine in the United Arab Emirates that can produce hundreds of liters of water daily from its dry desert air. Tests from the water maker systems (WMS) have already proven that the device is capable of flowing 500-800 liters of water per day through the process of condensation.
Researchers hope to scale up the technology to produce over 1,000 liters a day with a tower-top system. After producing ideal results in the prototype stage, it is believed that the technology would work even better in areas offshore or near the coast where there are higher humidity and wind conditions.
The idea was originally developed by Eole CEO Marc Parent, an engineer who had been reducing his bottled water costs by siphoning the condensation from his air conditioner in the 1990s.
For the Middle East, where water shortage is a reality, the technology could prove to be particularly beneficial for remote communities. Companies like Emerson, Siemens, Danfoss, Carel and Arcelor Mittal have shown interest in partnering with Eole to develop the technology.
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The turbine features a 13 meter diameter rotor with a 12-tonne nacelle housing a direct-drive permanent-magnet generator protected by sand-shutters, cooling compressors, stainless-steel humidity condensers, an airflow regulator and a heat exchanger. Eole Water's WMS1000 can turn a day's wind energy into as much as 2,000 liters of drinking water by drawing wind through air regulators, which are then heated by the turbine's generator to become steam. The steam is then compressed and the moisture condenses, allowing for water to cascade down pipes within the turbine and into stainless steel tanks for purification.
According to its tests, the water meets drinking-quality standards set by the World Health Organization after a five-stage process. The leftover 30kW produced by the turbine powers the purification system.