The Water-from-Air Resource chart for Singapore is now available. As expected, Singapore is an excellent site for water-from-air machines. Singapore is home to two water-from-air equipment suppliers: AirQua and Hyflux.
A news item about the company, Water Resources Group, expanding, "its licence relationship with Mandala Water to include The Republic of Mauritius,..." for desalination plants prompted me to produce a water-from-air resource chart for Port Louis, Mauritius. Annually, water vapour density ranges from a high of 20.4 grams per cubic metre in February to a low of 13.5 grams per cubic metre in July and August. Conditions are excellent for water-from-air production from November to May. Conditions are rated "good" for atmospheric water generator operation during the balance of the year. Details are available in the Port Louis chart.
Recent legislation in Mauritius demands hotels and "major hospitality centres" have desalination plants. Could water-from-air systems be considered as an alternative to desalination plants at some sites?
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other laboratories in Beijing, China discovered why the spines of the cactus Opuntia microdasys are so efficient at capturing fog droplets:
Although the research looked at fog droplet capture by the cacti, the findings are applicable to surfaces chilled by mechanical refrigeration (evaporator coils) or by a liquid coolant (chiller coils). If the cacti spine attributes can be mimicked on the coil surfaces, condensate will drain more quickly from the coil. Rapid draining minimizes the presence of an insulating water film on the chilled surfaces. This promotes additional condensation per unit time which increases liquid water production rate of the water-from-air system (atmospheric water generator).
A field experiment in Tangier, Morocco, by Massuchusetts Institute of Technology economist Esther Duflo revealed, "...people in households that gain running water report significant improvements in well-being and happiness."Details about the experiment, done in 2008, were contained in a recent R&D Magazine article by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office. The experiment comprised 845 households in Tangier. Of these, 434 were selected randomly as the treatment group and given the opportunity to connect to the municipal water supply on credit terms. The balance of the households were the control group.
Baseline information included these observations:
During the course of the experiment:
My interpretations of the relevance of this Moroccan experiment to water-from-air (WFA) technologies are these:
Information literacy in the workplace was the theme of a recent article in R&D Magazine which used the field of engineering as an example. Demographics are causing a situation in which younger engineers may not have workplace mentors available—the experienced engineers have already retired. Information has to be found elsewhere.
Knowing where to find reliable information quickly is essential.
The article noted some interesting findings about the engineering profession:
Sasha Gurke, the article's author, stated: "Readily available and authoritative information is especially critical during the innovation process."
This is exactly the need addressed by the Atmoswater Research website. I want to make information and knowledge about the still developing field of water-from-air technologies easily accessible—the searching and validating is done by me. Some information is freely available to any visitor to the site but some is premium content reflecting the additional effort that goes into producing the content.
Water-from-air equipment supplier websites vary considerably in quality—some show a need for accurate information. Typical problems include:
Recent research at the Device Research Lab in MIT's Mechanical Engineering Department points to the possible reduction in the energy cost of a unit volume of water produced by atmospheric water generators. By coating the water collection surface (for example, the evaporator coil in a mechanical dehumidifier) with nanostructured patterns the heat transfer coefficient is increased. Heat transfer efficiency can be increased 30%. The article, Jumping Droplets Help Heat Transfer, includes an interesting video.
Global Trends 2030, a publication of the National Intelligence Council (USA) commented on regions experiencing water stress (defined as annual water supply in a region being less than 1,700 cubic meters per person per year):
Although water stress exists in the United States and Mexico
and along the western coast of South America, the
world’s major belt of water stress lies across northern
Africa, the Middle East, central and southern Asia, and
northern China. These stresses are increasing because
this is also the zone of the largest projected population
growth during the next 15-20 years.
In some of these regions, water-from-air systems may be suitable for improving local drinking water availability. Tools such as water-from-air resource charts can assist in efficient deployment of water-from-air systems (atmospheric water generators).
AirQua, a company based in Singapore, is marketing its atmospheric water generator (AWG) products in the Philippines. A November 17, 2012 article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, although it reads a bit like a company press release, is interesting because it provides insights about the market potential for AWGs in the country. The water-from-air resource in the Philippines is excellent for water-from-air systems.
I have been researching and developing drinking-water-from-air technologies since 1984. As a physical geographer, I strive to contribute an accurate, scientific point-of-view to the field.