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Atmospheric Water Generators
Create Pure Drinking Water From Air

Courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An atmospheric water generator (AWG), is a device that extracts water from humid ambient air. Water vapor in the air is condensed by cooling the air below its dew point, exposing the air to desiccants, or pressurizing the air. An AWG is designed to render the water potable where pure drinking water is difficult or impossible to obtain, because there is almost always a small amount of moisture in the air that can be extracted. The two primary techniques in use are cooling and desiccants.

The extraction of atmospheric water may not be completely free of cost, because energy is required to drive some AWG processes, sometimes called "trading oil for water". Certain traditional AWG methods are completely passive, relying on natural temperature differences, and requiring no external energy source. Research has also developed AWG technologies to produce useful yields of water at a reduced (but non-zero) energy cost.


History

Water has been collected from the air for at least 2,000 years using air wells in Middle Eastern deserts, and later in Europe. The Incas were able to sustain their culture above the rain line by collecting dew and channeling it to cisterns for later distribution. Historical records indicate the use of water-collecting fog fences. These traditional methods have usually been completely passive, requiring no external energy source other than naturally occurring temperature variations.


Modern Technologies

Atmospheric Water Generators - Create Pure Drinking Water From Air

Many atmospheric water generators operate in a manner very similar to that of a dehumidifier: air is passed over a cooled coil, causing water to condense. The rate of water production depends on the ambient temperature, humidity, the volume of air passing over the coil, and the machine's capacity to cool the coil. These systems reduce air temperature, which in turn reduces the air's capacity to carry water vapor. This is the most common technology for use in homes and offices that can produce up to 8 gallons of pure drinking water per day, as well as commercial and industrial models that can be scaled to produce from 300 gallons of water per day and up.

All atmospheric water generators use filters to purify the water prior to drinking and some models re-mineralize the water with alkaline minerals in order to produce the purest form of Alkaline Drinking Water Directly From the Air.


Cooling Condensation

Atmospheric Water Generator - Cooling Condensation Process

In a cooling condensation type atmospheric water generator, a compressor circulates refrigerant through a condenser and then an evaporator coil which cools the air surrounding it. This lowers the air temperature to its dew point, causing water to condense. A controlled-speed fan pushes filtered air over the coil. The resulting water is then passed into a holding tank with purification and filtration system to help keep the water pure and reduce the risk posed by viruses and bacteria which may be collected from the ambient air on the evaporator coil by the condensing water.

The rate at which water can be produced depends on relative humidity and ambient air temperature and size of the compressor. Atmospheric water generators become more effective as relative humidity and air temperature increase. As a rule of thumb, cooling condensation atmospheric water generators do not work efficiently when the temperature falls below 18.3°C (65°F) or the relative humidity drops below 30%. This means they are relatively inefficient when located inside air-conditioned offices. The cost-effectiveness of an atmospheric water generator depends on the capacity of the machine, local humidity and temperature conditions and the cost to power the unit.


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