Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Water Shortages- a thing of the past? Atmospheric Water Generation explained. Written by Chris Green

We live on a planet whose surface is two thirds occupied by water. Depending upon where you live in the world, plenty of water also descends often enough from the heavens, especially if you live in the United Kingdom, which always seems to get the cold and wet end of global warming; yet vast tracts of our world and the communities living within these areas are dangerously short of the basic needs of life: fresh water and reliable, inexpensive energy. Commercial TV channels feed us a diet of images of human tragedy where for the want of these basic needs, children and elderly people are dying. As a result, the international charity industry exhorts us to part with a few units of our respective currencies each month so that these staffs of life might be met. Solutions are in fact readily to hand with available and affordable technology to provide the needs of most of the world’s communities, even those in the most arid of ambient conditions. Furthermore, these communities could be self-sustaining if a combination of functions were provided to them to provide water and energy and to perpetuate the cycle of sustainability.

Some regions of the world are subject to very high ambient temperatures, but also have very high levels of relative humidity. Interestingly, the atmosphere that surrounds us all contains up to ten times the amount of water than is contained by all the rivers of the world combined; but unlike rivers, the atmosphere is universally distributed. Atmospheric Water Generation, or AWG, absorbs that humidity from the atmosphere and through a system of condensation, filtration and mineralization, volumes of water that in some applications can harvest up to 135,000 litres per day are realizable at a cost of $0.00048 per litre.

This quantity of water would be sufficient to provide pristine potable (drinking) water each and every day for communities comprising up to 30,000 people. But even the most arid of environments can be suitable for the equipment described.

The technique has been designed and developed in Europe. Using a patented condenser system, the process differs from traditional cylinder and coil systems in that huge volumes of air are forced through the condenser under very high pressure, and a patented vortex effect than condenses the water from the air. The resultant water meets all the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The AWG water production process can be highlighted thus:
§  The atmosphere is to be considered as a vast water reservoir
§  Water is produced through the use of very high-efficiency refrigeration   technology to condense the humidity in the air
§  There are multiple uses of the water so produced through the utilization of water treatment technology, by way of the collection and re-treatment of used water

Additional benefits also derive from this process because sufficient heat is generated as a by-product of the AWG process to create something in the order of 1000KWH of electricity. But this is not all, for if you combine the use of wind turbines and solar panels with the AWG system, all of a sudden you have an entire community, not only remote villages, but whole towns, which are entirely self-sustaining in terms of water and energy. And this is before we even consider the potential of energy derived from the consumption of municipal waste (W2E) or indeed energy from sewage (anaerobic digestion). In short order, such communities could actually be producing a surplus of water and energy which is then marketable to neighbouring areas, or for sustaining villages and homesteads remote from the town in question.

The opportunities that arise from the adoption of the processes outlined above are in fact exponential, with world-wide appeal, and AWG could go a very long way towards alleviating the water shortages that huge areas suffer from. There is a wealth of funding already available for a multitude of water projects, but none, as yet, for AWG. Plus, given that finance can be amortized across product production over a period of several years, there would be no need for recourse to the town or city council concerned in the project.

Throughout all the ages, men have gone to war, either to control basic staffs of life – water and energy - or they have been forced into conflict for the lack of such resources. Mankind is such that it will always find an excuse to inflict inhumanity on man, but by the widespread adoption of AWG, energy and water need no longer be fought over, for the solution to our needs is already all around us. The other truism of course is that our respective governments will find a way to tax it all, for that, after all is what governments do best!

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Chris Green
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