On Monday, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced that it would be spending nearly half-a-million dollars on 150 solar-powered devices that can literally produce water out of thin air.
Each ‘hydropanel’ weighs about 300 pounds and consists of an array of four foot by eight foot solar panels, an air filter, and a water reservoir that can hold up to 30 liters of water.
Fans draw outside air through the hydropanel’s air filter is made out of a proprietary hygroscopic material that attracts water molecules from the air.
Even in arid climates where humidity levels are as low as 10 percent the device is still able to pull at least two liters of water from the air.
It’s not the first device to pull water from thin air using solar power.
The proliferation of devices that are able to collect water even in the world’s most arid climates will likely become a necessity as climate change makes water resources scarce in many parts of the world.
In this sense, Australia’s pilot program with the device is a crucial proof-of-concept to demonstrate how reliable these devices are and whether they can actually make a dent in waste from plastic water bottles while providing fresh water to drought stricken communities.