Tired of the usual pv panels? Would you like to obtain something more than free electricity thanks to sunlight? That’s the basic idea of Source. Source is an innovative panel which can also capture water vapor cointained as moisture in the air and turn it into safe, clean and potable water. That’s why Source is better known as “Hydropanel”. Source was designed and realized by Zero Mass Water, spin-off of the USA Arizona State University.
Cody Friesen, founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water, explains “We want to guarantee access to safe drinking water for every person in the world, and fundamentally change the human relationship to water.”
Hydropanel for the future
As we can see from the previous picture, Source seems a usual pv panel. Actually, Source is composed by two layers or two panels: the first one is a pv panel which produces electricity from the sun, the other extracts moisture from the air thanks to some layers of nanomaterials. The electrical energy is partly used to feed a cycle of condensation/evaporation/condensation of water, in order to “clean” water. Then water is filtered and calcium and magnesium are added. The device can be connected to the house water plant using a flexible pipe. On the website of Zero Mass Water we find that Source is able to produce an average of 4-10 liters per day. Source is equipped with a tank of 30 or 60 liters to store water. Moreover, Source could help people in saving money and “trash” (for example, more than 70000 plastic bottles).
Moisture and water production
One of the first practical applications for Source is the installation in developing countries, where it’s still hard to find safe and clean water. Usually, these countries are located in area with low humidity’s levels. Despite this issue, the production of Source is still good, as we can see from the following graphs:
Source has been installed in 8 countries all over the world, such as Ecuador, Jordan, Mexico and Philippines and on the roof of some schools in the USA. Economically, a typical setup for a home costs 6500 dollars. The payback period of Source is of 3-5 years, in the face of an expected lifetime of 10 years: