Khalifa University of Science and Technology has collaborated with UAE-based company Eshara Water, Swedish firm Azelio AB, and Masdar City, to set up the world’s first atmospheric water generation (AWG) system that is powered completely by solar and electrical thermal energy storage.
With this technology, it can produce drinking water directly from the air and has the capacity to supply up to 1,000 litres per day per unit. There are further plans to increase capacity to 7,500 litres in the near future. The AWG systems capture moisture from ambient air to produce fresh water through cooling of most air below its dew point causing the moisture to condense as water. The water collected is then filtered and treated to meet quality standards.
Under this AWG project, AWG is combined with solar power and two thermal energy storage power-on-demand systems for night clean electricity supply. It is a region-specific sustainable research initiative that aims at offering expertise and infrastructure to promote and facilitate research to produce clean water and power.This will benefit distant or isolated off-grid regions that will help regions depending on non-ecofriendly energy sources for their daily electricity and water requirements.
Atmospheric water generation is popular and helps tremendously the remote locations in fulfilling their water needs.It can be used for specific uses such as disaster relief, where distance and time hinder the installation of conventional water desalination.
One of the members of the panels for this project, Dr. Nicolas Calvet, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Khalifa University, and Founder and Chair of Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP) at Masdar City, said, “ Khalifa University has installed 450 kW of solar photovoltaic (PV) He added that the university’s mission is to pioneer solutions that cater to the environmental needs of the UAE and the wider global community, hence this project focuses on energy storage and production of electricity and water at night.Thanks to the solar PV farm and the TES.POD® energy storage system designed by Azelio AB, the AWG system installed at the MISP can operate 24 hours a day. This system is a perfect representation of Masdar City’s vision, a mechanism that generates potable water without the need for power from the national grid.”
This project is funded by Swedish cleantech firm, Azelio. Commenting on this, Jonas Wallmander, CEO of Azelio, said, “Food and water security are crucial and increasingly important in many parts of the world. We are delighted to contribute to showcasing this groundbreaking solution for fresh water supply and electricity – in an application where our energy storage technology is a perfect fit.”
Eshara Water, the UAE firm has, however, commercialised AWG systems that can produce up to 7,500 liters per day. However, the modular technology can produce as much as 1 million liters of fresh water a day.