Our solution

We present a solar power system with water and electricity cogeneration. This allows the production of two essential resources for the functioning of any developed society. The system uses the sun and air as a source of energy and air as a source of water. The initial aim being the passive production of water in large quantities, the basic version of the proposed system is totally passive and produces only water. Different active options can then be added depending on local electricity needs and/or air pollution.

Advantages

The system can be placed anywhere, it is autonomous and emits no pollution. Production can range from a few hundred to a few million liters daily and since the system is passive the initial investment represents the largest share of the cost, maintenance being extremely low. It can be built using materials available in large quantities and which exist almost everywhere (iron, aluminum, sand, cotton wool, glass, mirrors). Moreover, the passive version is also relatively simple to build.

Limitations

  1. Longer periods without sun reduce the systems’ efficiency drastically. Therefore, the polar regions are unfavorable to the implementation of such a system. Luckily, those regions currently don’t suffer much from drought and electricity needs.
  2. The produced water is pure and is therefore unsuitable for direct consumption.

Setting it up

In order to tackle the first limitation stated above, the system needs a starting phase during which its efficiency is progressively increased. Once the expected operating speed is reached, the system operates continuously with only slight variations in efficiency as a function of the local atmospheric conditions and the alternation day-night.

It is even possible to further increase the systems’ efficiency and stability: By using part of the water produced to restore natural hydrographic systems in the surrounding area, the environment near the system will be covered with vegetation and the moisture of the area will increase as the area extends. This enables for a larger quantity of water to be extracted.

Water in the soil

We tackle the second limitation stated above by building one system, pouring its produced water into the soil and judiciously distributing it over a given territory. This would make it possible to dispense with the construction of new wells or other water collection systems insofar as the water tables would be revitalized, the existing wells would be full again, and watercourses and bodies of water would reappear (= drinkable water).

Competition & existing market

There have already been many passive and active system attempts to extract water from the air. Both have been proven to function, but currently have drawbacks that makes them non-sustainable for our purpose:

  • Existing active systems have a low production and the energy cost to pay for electricity is high. Moreover, many regions remain totally isolated from any (clean) electricity source.
  • Existing passive systems are currently only able to extract a small amount of water and any pollution present in the air is found in the water. These passive systems are also highly dependent on atmospheric conditions, making them poor candidates for daily production capable of supplying large human facilities.

It is therefore necessary to rapidly develop a technology that allows the construction of plants ranging from small local production to the domestic scale up to an industrial production capable of supplying cities.

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