A new solar-powered device developed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can extract and condense clean water from dry air, without relying on electricity.
The solar-powered device works by using the difference in temperature to transfer water molecules to adsorbing materials, where the water is condensed using the sun’s heat, before being moved back into a container.
When there is no sunlight to heat the thermal plates that condense the water, the molecules can be collected in the materials before being collected the next day.
MIT tries to circumvent situations of water scarcity using the power of technology
According to IFL Science, this isn’t the first time a solution involving solar energy technology like this has been proposed, but the MIT team’s device appears to be the most effective attempt to use this process to date.
While previous versions were seen as very limited in use, this time the researchers added a second adsorption-desorption stage to increase capacity and also changed specialized materials to use more widely available options – and likely more solar panels. cheap.
Scientists working on this new solar technology believe it can work in places where humidity is as low as 20%, while similar devices currently in use in some desert regions require air with at least 50% humidity to produce water.
At present, solar energy technology has the capacity to produce 0.8 liters of water per day. This is quite impressive, but considering that the human body requires around 2.5 liters per day to survive, it is likely that researchers will have to increase the production of the device before it can be used as a realistic solution to water crises.