Now and then I've lost my focus on water-from-air technology R&D and now have a dozen documents to prove this happened! These documents are my submissions to InnoCentive Challenges. One submission paid off with an award of $5000 but the rest were rejected. Even so, they all contain useful ideas that could form the basis of something new and marketable for other inventors. So, I'm offering non-exclusive licenses (for a modest price and without expiry date) to the intellectual property revealed in the documents. The documents are also an interesting resource for other InnoCentive Solvers.
While helping a client commercialize water-from-air systems, I got frequent questions about how well atmospheric water generators would perform at various locations around the world. A common misconception was that relative humidity values told the whole story. Higher humidity means more water in the air and better water production. Right? Not really!
The water vapour content of the air, sometimes referred to as "absolute humidity", has the proper scientific name "water vapour density" with units of [grams of water vapour per cubic metre of air]. The water vapour density depends on three measures all at the same time: the air's dry bulb temperature, relative humidity, and atmospheric pressure.
Monthly average climate data for air temperature (dry bulb) and relative humidity is fairly easy to obtain for many places. Average air pressure at a location can be estimated knowing the site's altitude above sea level. Using well-known formulas used in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning field (HVAC) the average monthly water vapour density can be calculated.
Once water vapour density was known, I could use information about the airflow (in units of cfm or cubic feet per minute) through my client's machines to estimate water production of various designs. The focus on water production was fine for a manufacturer and its customers.
Later, as an independent consultant, potentially dealing with end-users of atmospheric water generators having all sorts of different specifications for airflow I decided it was better to focus on the actual water vapour resource to make charts of wider usefulness.To make it easier to compare how good a site is for atmospheric water generators I had the idea of indexing the water vapour density by dividing the density values by the water vapour density 15.3 g/cubic metre which is the density at the standard measurement conditions of 26.7°C air temperature; 60 % relative humidity. When the water-from-air resource monthly index = 1.00, the expected drinking water production rate from an atmospheric water generator (AWG) at the site should be the same as the machine's specified water-from-air production rate. I gave the Water-from-Air Resource (WFAR) annual index grades (Excellent: Index is greater than or equal to 1.00; Good: Index range 0.76 to 0.99; Fair: Index range 0.51 to 0.75; and Poor: Index range is less than or equal to 0.5) and assigned colours to make it easier to interpret the charts.
A lot of information about a site, all relevant to using water-from-air systems is packaged onto the 8.5 inch x 11 inch landscape format of the charts!
Atmoswater Research now has a formal policy of guaranteeing satisfaction with our "knowledge-products". If your are not satisfied with your purchase, please e-mail Roland Wahlgren. A brief explanation is appreciated of why you would like a refund. This helps improve our services to you. Your payment will be refunded, usually within 2 to 3 business days. You will be asked to delete the goods from your storage media.
Today, I have a guest post from Walter Wallie Ivison, Director and CEO of World Environmental Solutions, Australia. As usual, Atmoswater Research is not responsible for the contents of external links.
While most of us accept water in a similar way to the air we breathe, water still remains one of the concerns for most of the world's population illustrated by the number of hits on Google these days on ways to get water; 300,000 a month on water from the atmosphere is a good example. As we continue to pollute our waters, less fresh water is becoming available for us to drink. More rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers are drying up as the years pass. As bodies of water around the world continue to dry up, we’re seeing more drought conditions spread. There are dust storms in places which have never experienced them until now. As time flows, the amount of agricultural land shrinks, and deserts are growing.
The trend in interest about water-from-air technology amongst English-speakers can be gauged from data about article views of the Wikipedia article 'Atmospheric water generator'. So far, in 2013, interest is fairly consistent month after month. Qualitatively, a slight upward trend is apparent. The data revealed a total of 41,699 views during the seven month period with an average of 196 article views per day. During the same period, Google Analytics data for the Atmoswater Research website recorded 1,480 unique visitors. But, the bounce rate was 54.13% so the actual number of real visitors was 679. This implies the Atmoswater Research website may only be attracting the attention of 679 out of 41,699 people or 1.6% of its potential audience. This is admittedly an imperfect statistical analysis but it does indicate more out-reach is needed! On a more sobering note the relatively low number of Wikipedia article views per unit time indicates the market for water-from-air technologies may be small.
Water-from-Air Trends is a new feature on the Atmoswater Research website. Courtesy of Google, it is possible to follow interest trends for various search terms. The charts are embedded so are right up-to-date. The trend information is useful for developing marketing strategies. Here is a snapshot of the 12-month trend for the phrase, "water from air".
According to WaterMaker India, the water-from-air project in Jalimudi has provided drinking water to 600 people for four years (since 2009) in an equatorial, winter dry climate region about 60 m above sea level. This is an important success story for water-from-air technology. The Jalimudi project provides a model for replication in other locations with water scarcity.
More information about the water-from-air resource in India may be found at:
Today's 3D dew-point graphic is related to yesterday's post showing how water vapour density (the water resource for atmospheric water generators or AWGs) varies with unlimited combinations of temperature and relative humidity.
Dew-point increases with increasing temperature and relative humidity. As mentioned in the water vapour density post, places on Earth where AWGs are likely to be operated have water vapour densities of 4 to 21 grams per cubic metre of moist air. This density range corresponds to dew-points of about -3°C to 24°C. Desiccant dehumidifiers can process air with negative dew-points so on the chart above, a sliver of the green zone, all of the purple and blue zones, and half the orange zone are relevant to all water-from-air technologies. Many AWGs use mechanical dehumidification for atmospheric water vapour processing. These machines are restricted to processing moist air having an above freezing dew-point. The only zones which apply to mechanical dehumidification are the purple, blue, and the first half of the orange surface.
The data for the chart is from the Dew-point Temperature Table (SI).
Discussions about the operation of atmospheric water generators (AWGs) often focus on relative humidity ranges alone. This is a flawed way of thinking which becomes confusing. The correct approach is to discuss machine performance at specific combinations of temperature and relative humidity (at a specific air pressure). The chart shows how the water vapour density in the air varies according to the temperature - relative humidity combination at constant air pressure. Water vapour density is the water resource available to an AWG. The water-from-air resource can be thought of in the same way as a stream, pond, or aquifer. The water-from-air resource increases with increasing temperature and relative humidity. Most places on Earth where AWGs are likely to be operated have water vapour densities of 4 to 21 grams per cubic metre of moist air (red, green, and purple zones on the chart). The data for the chart is from the Atmospheric Water Vapour Resource Table (SI).
Water-from-Air Resource Charts are available for five sites in Venezuela. Operating conditions by month for atmospheric water generators range from fair to excellent depending on site elevation and season. Please see the charts for details.
I have updated my list of peer-reviewed articles relevant to the topic of water-from-air systems.
A nice thing the articles listed below have in common is that they cited my article from 2001 !
The paper by Blackburn and Peters (2009) is especially interesting. They discovered that a home/office Atmospheric Water Generator in the context of Australia has a greater environmental impact than a bottled water cooler. This provides a challenge to the water-from-air industry—how do we use life cycle analysis to design AWGs having minimal environmental impact?
Blackburn, N. J. and Peters, G. M. 2009. Atmospheric water generation—an environmentally friendly alternative to bottled water? Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) Conference 2009.
Habeebullah, B. A. 2010. Performance Analysis of a Combined Heat Pump-Dehumidifying System. JKAU: eng. Scie., 21 (1), 97–114.
Zimmermann, R., Mantelli, M. B. H., Borges, T. P. F., and Costa, C. A. S. 2010. Viability study of retrieving the evaporated water in a mechanical draft cross flow cooling tower. 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, ITHC 14 4, 751–760.
Bergmair, D., Metz, S. J., De Lange, H. C., Van Steenhoven, A. A. 2012. Modeling of a vapor selective membrane unit to increase the energy efficiency of humidity harvesting. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 395 (1), art. no. 012161.
Alipour, V., Mahvi, A., and Rezaei, L. 2013. Water condensate management of atmosphere humidity in Bandar Abbas, Iran. in Kanarachos, A. and , Mastorakis, N. E. (editors). 2013. Recent Advances in Environmental Science. WSEAS Press, 279–284.
Khayet, M. 2013. Solar desalination by membrane distillation: Dispersion in energy consumption analysis and water production costs (a review). Desalination 308, 89–101.
Muñoz-Garcia, M. A., Moreda, G. P., Raga-Arroyo, M. P., Marin-González, O. 2013. Water harvesting for young trees using Peltier modules powered by photovoltaic solar energy. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 93, 60–67.
Our Water-from-Air System Hourly Report for Amman, Jordan is available for purchase (USD $495.00). This 120-page report gives you the detail you need to decide if an atmospheric water generator is a viable fresh water supply option for your application.
Here are some highlights from the model, which focused on a generic system rated at 2500 L/d (standard conditions for entering air of 26.7°C and 60% relative humidity):
We now have the capability to create Water-from-Air System Hourly Analysis Model Reports. Hourly data provides the detail needed to thoroughly evaluate whether or not an atmospheric water generator makes sense for your innovative water supply application.
Our hourly reports are priced at [ask for quote] per report. Lead time is up to five business days.
Ordering information and access to a complimentary (free download) copy of our San Francisco report are on our WFA Hourly Analyses page.
Water-from-air resource charts are available for eight sites in Mexico, representing eight Köppen-Geiger climate classes. The sites, from north to south, are:
Site Elevation Climate class Climate description WFAR Annual Index
Ensenada 21 m BSk arid | steppe | cold arid 0.70
Guaymas 27 m BWh arid | desert | hot arid 0.81
Monterrey 495 m BSh arid | steppe | hot arid 0.83
Guadalajara 1567 m Cwa warm temperate | winter dry | hot summer 0.60
Puerto Vallarta 10 m As equatorial | summer dry 1.15
Mexico City 2233 m Cwb warm temperate | winter dry | warm summer 0.50
Cancun 9 m Aw equatorial | winter dry 1.24
Villahermosa 24 m Am equatorial | monsoonal 1.25
Cancun, and Villahermosa are excellent sites for year-round operation of atmospheric water generators (AWGs). Details about seasonal and geographical variability of the water-from-air resource are given in the charts.
The Water-from-Air System Suppliers Links page now identifies water-from-air companies that have publicly trading stock. These are:
Drinking-Water-from-Air Technology: Investor's Guide ("WFA 101").
Water-from-Air Resource Charts are available for Puerto Plata and Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Climate classifications for the sites are:
Puerto Plata (14 m above sea level) - equatorial | fully humid
Santa Domingo (14 m above sea level) - equatorial | winter dry
Both sites are excellent for the operation of water-from-air systems (atmospheric water generators). Monthly details are in the charts.
Water-from-Air Resource Charts are available for Panama City and Santiago in Panama. Climate classifications are:
Water-from-Air Resource Charts are available for Accra and Axim, Ghana. Climate classifications are:
Water-from-Air Resource Charts are available for Lilongwe and Zomba, Malawi. Climate classes are:
On an annual basis, Lilongwe is a fair site for operation of water-from-air machines while Zomba is a good site. Detailed information useful for planning deployment of atmospheric water generators (AWGs) is given in the charts.
Water-from-air resource charts are available for Libreville and Port-Gentil, Gabon. These two locations are excellent for the operation of water-from-air systems (atmospheric water generators). Libreville has an equatorial | monsoon climate while Port-Gentil has an equatorial | winter dry climate. Detailed monthly information useful for deployment of atmospheric water generators (AWGs) is given in the charts.
Water-from-Air Resource charts are available for seven locations in Jordan: Al Aqabah, Al Mafraq, Amman, Irbid, Ma'an, Mahattat al Hafif, and Mahattat al Jufur. These sites are representative of the five Köppen-Geiger climate classes in Jordan. Several sites are at relatively high altitudes (shown in brackets following site name). The water-from-air resource decreases with altitude.
BSh (arid | steppe | hot arid): Amman (772 m)
BSk (arid | steppe | cold arid): Al Mafraq (686 m)
BWh (arid | desert | hot arid): Al Aqabah (50 m), Mahattat al Hafif (669 m), Mahattat al Jufur (687 m)
BWk (arid | desert | cold arid): Ma'an (1069 m)
Csa (warm temperate | summer dry | hot summer): Irbid (618 m)
Conditions for operating atmospheric water generators (AWGs) in Jordan range from poor to good on a monthly basis depending on location, season, and altitude. Please see charts for details.
Water-from-Air Resource charts are available for five cities in Israel: Beersheba, Eilat, Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. These sites represent the three Köppen-Geiger climate classes in Israel. From north to south the climate classes and sites (with altitude) are:
Mediterranean - Haifa (9 m), Tel Aviv (49 m), Jerusalem (758 m)
Mid-Latitude Steppe - Beersheba (206 m)
Subtropical Desert - Eilat (13 m)
Operating conditions for atmospheric water generators (AWGs) vary from poor to excellent depending on location and season. Please see the charts for details.
Water-from-Air Resource Charts are available for Larnaca and Nicosia, Cyprus. Larnaca represents a Mediterranean climate site while Nicosia represents an Arid Hot Steppe climate site. Operating conditions for atmospheric water generators (AWGs) ranges from poor to excellent depending on location and season. Please see the charts for details.
Just updated the Supplier List for suppliers of water-from-air systems. About half the suppliers of Atmospheric Water Generators (AWGs) are in the USA.
Water-from-Air Resource charts are available for four sites in Florida: Homestead, Miami, Orlando, and West Palm Beach. These locations represent the four Köppen-Geiger climate classes in Florida.
Homestead - Tropical Savannah
Miami - Tropical Monsoon
Orlando - Temperate - Without dry season - Hot Summer
West Palm Beach - Tropical Rainforest
Operating conditions for atmospheric water generators range from good to excellent depending on season and location. Please see the charts for details.
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.