Updated: Jun 21
Just last month, US company, Source Global introduced the hydropanel, a new solar panel technology that generates clean drinking water directly from atmospheric humidity. According to Source Global, the hydropanel is like a solar panel, but instead of producing electricity, it produces clean, safe drinking water. It does this without any electrical infrastructure.
How the Hydropanel Works
Source Global did not disclose details about its patented technology, but according to a description of how the hydropanel works, on their website:
The panel generates electricity to power fans which extract pure water vapour from the air and collect it within the system. The collected vapour is then converted into liquid water using internal heat within the panel.
The system is self-contained and includes a storage tank. This is to ensure the cleanliness and circulation of the collected water. The collected water is then mineralized to achieve an ideal composition and taste.
According to Source Global, the hydropanel is "the world’s first renewable drinking water system." They offer the hydropanel in two variants: the Commercial Hydropanel and the R3 Residential Hydropanel both designed to operate independently in various locations worldwide. They both have the ability to generate drinking water from the air, even in areas with as little as 10% humidity. They have a lifespan of about 15 years. They offer remote monitoring and optimization for different climate conditions from their operation centres.
The Residential hydropanels are sold in pairs and can produce an average of 4 to 10 liters of clean water per day. Source Global says its commercial hydropanel has already been deployed in remote areas, indigenous communities, camps, and arid deserts, such as in Oman, where it has its first “water farm.”
Learn about another high end solar-based drinking water solution, solar desalination systems here.
Source Global says that one of their hydopanel can eliminate the need for 54,000 single-use plastic water bottles over its 15-year lifespan. This is great news for the environment. But with the residential hydropanel selling for almost $3,000 dollars for just 10 litres of water everyday, it is not good news for the pocket of those who have need of it the most, at least not yet. Regardless, it is a great high-end technology that meets what is a desperate need for a large portion of the world's population and we expect the price of investment to lower as the technology is optimized and as more brands enter the niche.