How Practical Is Harvesting Water From The Air?

Photo of an arid desert landscape

Water is one of the most precious substances required to sustain human life. Unfortunately, in some areas like California, it’s starting to run out.

The ongoing drought has some people looking towards alternative solutions, such as sucking water out of the very air itself. In particular, a company called Tsunami Products has been making waves in the press with its atmospheric water generators, touting them as a solution for troubled drought-stricken areas, as reported by AP News. Today, we’ll look at how these machine capture water, and whether or not they can help in areas short on water.

A Condensed Explanation

Systems such as those built by companies like Tsunami Products are referred to as atmospheric water generators of the cooling condensation type. They work on much the same principle as a modern air conditioner, relying on a refrigeration circuit. The refrigeration circuit is used to create a cold surface upon which water from the air condenses and is collected. From there, the water is filtered and purified to remove any viruses, bacteria, or other contaminants that may have been captured from the air.

A Tsunami 500 unit pictured next to a human being for size.

It seems straightforward enough; the basic principle at play is quite simple. Collect water that condenses on a cool surface, filter it, and drink it! However, there’s a reason that we don’t typically look to the air itself as a source of water. That’s because of the energy cost, which is, in a word, significant. Essentially, running such a machine is functionally equivalent to running a large air conditioner.

For example, the smallest unit offered by Tsunami Products is the Tsunami 500, which costs on the order of $30,000 and is reportedly capable of delivering up to 204 gallons (773 liters) of water per day. That’s a lot of water, approximately enough to cover the daily needs of two Americans – 82 gallons of water each. To capture that water, the Tsunami 500 uses an astonishing 5.8-7.5 kilowatts, depending on ambient conditions of temperature and relative humidity. Multiply that out over 24 hours, and that water came at the cost of 139.2-180 kilowatt-hours. Looking at the best case, that’s around 0.68 kilowatt-hours per gallon. In comparison, desalinating seawater, which is already considered energy-intensive, can be done for just 0.0113 kilowatt-hours per gallon.

What if We Use Renewable Energy?

For those with solar panels and battery storage, the energy cost may not seem like a problem. However, for those stuck paying grid prices, such an installation in drought-struck California would cost on the order of $27-36 a day to run, given the current energy price of around 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. It’s a huge price to pay for water, given the average bill in California currently sits at just $65 a month.

The key really is pairing such technology with solar power, in order to avoid contributing further to the climate change problem that causes hot weather and droughts in the first place. Bay Area man Don Johnson lives in the city of Benicia, and bought himself a Tsunami 500 in order to supply his garden’s water needs. However, he found that the machine was able to generate more than enough water to cover both his garden and his household usage. With the benefit of a large solar install on his roof, Johnson hasn’t had to deal with excessive power bills when running the system.

Data on expected water yields in different environmental conditions for a Tsuanmi 500 device. Note that lower temperature and relative humidity causes a significant drop in production.

Such products are marketed as a useful way of generating water in places where there simply is none, outside of the humidity in the air itself. They can indeed do that, however conditions have to be right. There has to be plenty of humidity in the air, and temperatures can’t be too low. According to Kevin Collins, president of Tsunami Products, the unit is ideal for areas within 10 to 15 degrees either side of the equator. “If you’re in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco, or San Diego, those areas have climates that typically don’t freeze,” says Collins, adding “…we can make water at anything above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Can Existing AC Be Optimized for This?

Given the huge cost, it’s unsurprising that this technology is not yet mainstream. Tsunami Products reportedly sold just 20 units in 18 months prior to coverage by AP News. Since then, the company has reported a torrent of interest, and hopes to close on 50 orders by year’s end. Given the anxieties created by drought, it’s perhaps unsurprising that those with the means are jumping at the chance to secure their own water supply.

It does, however, raise the idea that perhaps the technology could be used in a more sustainable fashion. Anyone that’s seen water dripping off an air conditioner unit will be familiar with the principles at play. There’s perhaps scope to investigate capturing condensation from large air conditioning units in commercial and industrial installations, where it could be purified for use on-site. This could potentially reduce water use without increasing power usage, as it relies on the existing air conditioning system as it’s already employed. It’s something unlikely to work on the smaller home scale, due to the lower amounts of water such a system would harvest. However, for larger installations, it could prove beneficial.

Overall, however, water production from humid air remains an energy-intensive, and thus costly, exercise. While atmospheric water capture may find some applications in off-grid areas and with cashed-up homeowners, it’s in no way likely to serve as a widespread solution to the water woes of California and other drought-stricken areas. More traditional methods of saving and capturing water will have to be employed.

118 thoughts on “How Practical Is Harvesting Water From The Air?

          1. Yes. Pipes are not cheap. Nobody said they were, so I’m glad you’re on the same page, now.

            Glad you now understand that they’re a better option than your first suggestion.

          1. Talk about not evolving: Historically Marxism has failed every time it has been forced on a people, killing many in the process. Yet it keeps reappearing, like a malignancy.

    1. This! Solar desalination could generate clean water ***AND*** energy for those close to an abundant source of salt water (California!) if they could get rid of the NIMBY problem.

      On top of that, with all the crazy spending being recommended in the USA, not a single mention of a national water grid. Yes, pipelines are expensive. Certainly not $3.5 Trillion, and that pipeline along with large pumps in flood prone areas would reduce or eliminate flood damage, but also provide water to areas previously unlivable.

      We have plenty of useful technologies that and engineering knowhow to solve this problem with current tech in a clean way. There is just no will to do it.

      1. +1

        And don’t forget, nuclear Gen IV reactors can desalinate water from the Pacific all day and all night, not just when the sun shines or the wind blows. But NIMBY people want solutions that everyone else has to pay to put in place.

    1. It’s all just a matter of being nice to dumb people: “I’ve getting some of this dang humidity out of the air for you so it won’t be so miserable and we don’t all die from ebola” should work. Because people are stupid and humidity doesn’t cause ebola.

      I went through a particularly misanthropic spell where I tried to find the limits of human gullibility. It was not a pleasant time. The first few weeks were fun, and then the dark cynicism took hold, and before long I realized I just had to stop while I still could.

      Also, these rigs are going to need constant cleaning unless people just enjoy Legionnairs’ Disease.

    2. !! SOAP BOX WARNING !! (Admins feel free to delete, I just needed to vent.)

      I live in Arizona. They have been stealing our water out of the Colorado River for almost a century now. We have been complaining about it and then get told to be quiet by the Federal government. This water diversion is also part of the reason for the desertification of the Gulf of California.

      They could also help themselves by building\repairing reservoirs rather than letting most of their rain fall wash into the ocean.

  1. To be fair, at that cost and energy requirement a simple pipe and pumps starts looking like a far more cost efficient and environmental solution by far.

    Heck, even trucking the water over from somewhere else is likely cheaper for smaller settlements. (a truck can take a fair amount of water after all.)

  2. I was about to piss and moan about the efficient and then I calculated the latent heat of vaporization of 1000 litres of water to be 611kWh (ick units, sorry)

    Water is really good at heat storage – never underestimate that.

  3. We do have some desalination plants here in California. The issue is that by the time they are built and spun up the drought is over and we shut them down. If perhaps they instead approached it from a different angle, where water was first for humans and second for non-food crops like wine, then we could perhaps encourage the wine industry and other similar industries to operate these regularly. They wouldn’t have to move the water either. Fund the pumping of X gallons of desalinated water into LA and you can take your guaranteed water from upstream in wine country at priority.

    1. THIS.

      The other thing that the condenser method does, and which everyone seems to forget:

      Where is all the waste heat that you are generating going? Have you sat next to an air conditioner’s ‘hot’ side when it’s going full blast? of course, not, because it’s STUPID hot and no one who lives in a desert wants to be near the thing that’s sucking all the heat out of the room and shoving it outside, along with generating even more heat in the process.

      Instead of silly things like these condensers (which TBH, do have a specific purpose and use case), look at the desalination plants. Look at global warming specifically and look at ways to combat it. While I’m all for using technological solutions, Lets use them in an intelligent manner. ’cause the direction we are going now, we are going to look more like Venus than earth in a couple hundred years.

      1. The way much of humanity is behaving right now a couple hundred years feels like hopeless optimism to me. Some nations or at least their population are really, finally, getting on board, but too many big ones are happy fiddling while Babylon burns, its making them richer… And when you look at various places round the world where natures carbon sinks are being destroyed by the changing climate to become sources, rapid acceleration seems on the cards.

        If you are living in a desert (why? Some good reasons I’m sure, but on the whole??!?!?!) I assume your personal water condenser and AC could and should really be the same unit (keep all the extra cold beyond home cooling generated in a decent insulated box filled with water and it can probably be your fridge too), and it is the only way a lone site its not worth running pipes to has, but only if they have enough juice to run it…

    2. wine? you know that it doesn’t requires water at all? At least it’s strictly forbidden to water wineyards.
      But it’s murica, where you can water them, add sugar, wood chips then sell them as “better wines than Bordeaux”

  4. there is a theory that some kind of magic technology will save the generations, like millennials and such, from the deep suffering caused by climatic changes in our near future, well, they will see :)

    1. No they won’t. The people telling themselves these lies to avoid admitting any problem will be dead long before they have to admit anything.

      Nice ageism though. It’s just contradicted directly by every shred of available evidence about who believes this stuff.

  5. ugh, it might be easy to harvest water out of air in places where this no water shortage, but the desert is not one of those places. it takes an absurd amount of energy to do this and it would be cheaper and easier to just desalinate ocean water (which is also very expensive, but not as bad)

      1. You can always use the difference in temperature between night and day. You bury pipes in the ground and have fans pull air through them. During the night cold air cools the pipes and the earth around them, during day the humidity contained in the hot air condenses in the pipes and which can then be collected and stored, this is done by having the pipes on a gradient so condensed water is gravity-fed into a storage-tank.

        It’s an extremely simple system with very few failure points and the whole system can be powered by solar cells and a battery bank since it doesn’t need very much energy to operate 24/7.

    1. Oops I was way off:

      https://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-gallons-of-water-to-make-a-burger-20140124-story.html?_amp=true

      “On average, the water we use in our households is about 98 gallons a day, says a U.S. Geological Survey”

      “The industrial goods we use — paper, cotton, clothes — that’s about another 44 gallons a day. ”

      “But it takes more than 1,000 gallons of water a day per person to produce the food (and drinks) in the average U.S. diet, according to several sources. More than 53 gallons of water go into making 1 cup of orange juice, for example.”

    2. Figure the amount of rain that falls on an orange grove in Florida, divide by the juice output, and voila, there’s your “52 gallons of water per cup of juice.”

      So, plant oranges where it’s warm and you get so much rain you don’t know what to do with it.

    3. This way flushing toilets in the US, using water from this appliance, is for the rich and famous only indeed.

      85 Gallons? 85? Per day? US Gov: “Estimates vary, but, on average, each person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day, for indoor home uses.”. Let’s call this primary water usage. All the water needed for crop, to house, feed and clothe is secondary.

      Reduce, Reuse, Recycle should be applied to water too. Using only rain water (annual rainfall of 850mm), some purification using a helophyte filter, and a vacuum toilet, a family of 5 suffices to have 2 m3 (about 500 gallons) water tank and a 4 m3 household water tank (= outdoor natural pool quality water). And save a considerable part of $30.000, at dimes running cost a day.

    1. This story also reminded me of Dune. I recall (it’s has been some time so I could be wrong) the description of plastic cones put around plants to harvest water. During day the plastic is white reflecting light. At night it turns black, radiates heat into night sky cooling off. The atmospheric moisture condenses on plastic and funneled to plat roots.

  6. California drained the largest lake West of the Mississippi and that changed the climate for over half the state. Whatever mediation can be done, is has to be the equivalent in heat and moisture of refilling the Central Valley with water.

    1. Depends on how much extra use you make of the cooling generated actively, plus the scope of passive ones to produce enough to matter is probably just too vast…

      For the most part water out of air is just plain stupid no matter how you try to do it – the planet is soo full of the salty wet stuff, and guess what we actually could pump lots of water to a desert pretty efficiently, let the sun drive the water off and then condense it for capture (which with the huge humidity such a system would produce isn’t hard) – thus producing vast quantities of salt, which means less salt mining will be needed and the water, all vastly more efficiently than this..

  7. ” That’s a lot of water, approximately enough to cover the daily needs of two Americans – 82 gallons of water each. ”
    Who the heck is using 82 gallons of water a day? If you are you have some serious issues

    1. I think they are also counting the water used to make your food, there are many gallons of water in a cheeseburger. Much water is also used in the manufacturing processes of consumer products. If anything 82 gallons sounds very low.

      1. Also quite possibly your bathing/showering – that uses up rather vast quantities of water with most bath and shower designs, and the toilet flush..

        I’d agree from what we see of how Americans live this side of the pond it seems stupendously low to count everything – I would suggest its just meant to count the water consumed at home with an adult for that number..

        1. Where I work they have low flush toilets, but the same toilets flush automatically when there is movement in the stall.
          Sometimes it will flush 6 times between the time I enter and leave the stall.
          So much for being green!

  8. There are some new metal-oxide framework materials (MOF) which can collect water passively down to 10% humidity like a sponge, and then release steam when heated by sunlight or otherwise. You blow air through the stack and you get hot humid air out, which is then much easier to condense. At night, you blow cool air through the stack and it absorbs moisture.

    They get about 10-15% thermal efficiency, but the heat energy is not a problem in the desert.

  9. This article and this “solution” is technologically interesting. And, if you are some lone wolf living in a remote arid area, and you happen to have a large photovoltaic array with surplus energy to burn, this might well be a viable solution to your water problem. Beyond that, I start to have concerns.

    I’m not a global warming alarmist, but this much has been demonstrated: The construction of cities like Phoenix or LA, with their thousands of acres of concrete, asphalt, and tile roofs has created “hot spots” (due to heat storage) that materially affects local climate–including winds and precipitation.

    Now imagine an urban scenario where you add large arrays of these water collectors–effectively dehydrating the local air. You don’t think that will ultimately have some effect on the local climate, too?

    Not only that, I submit that the more of these machines you add to a given locale, the less efficient each one becomes, because each machine then has to work harder to extract what fractional moisture content remains in the air. It’s a law of diminishing returns, so your energy costs will always be greater than what you had projected.

    Then there are the legal arguments of “rights” that others have already touched upon. If the volume of air over my property contains the equivalent of “X” liters of water…. then any amount of water I extract above “X” liters must necessarily have come from someone else’s volume. Call it silly if you want, but the argument is logical and in any case, dumber things have been argued in courtrooms.

    Now granted, lack of humidity is not likely to be a problem with a coastal city, but others have already pointed out that air extraction in that case can’t compete with the relatively-greater efficiency of desalination.

    Final, thought: If you are condensing water out of the air, you are also collecting pollen spores, bacteria, and viri. Those organic things will drip into the collection trough along with the water you extract. So… what chemicals must you add to the system to keep the interior free of slime, mold and pathogens? I wonder… are there any other condensable volatiles in air that you wouldn’t want to concentrate in water to drink?

    In the end, the idea is brilliant and conceptually simple but difficult to execute and, I think, but for niche applications, utterly impractical.

  10. So no solar stills like Boys’ Life magazine used to teach us?

    Counting the amount of water used to make a cheeseburger as part of my consumption is just stupid. By that logic every McDonald’s worker’s water consumption is my consumption.

    1. Yes indeed, McDonald’s has their own magic source of water that doesn’t compete with your usage, and won’t contribute to your local water shortage or affect your water bill. Also, their sewage just magically disappears and your town doesn’t have to process it. I’m thinking they must also have some sort of magic chute for the garbage and the used fryolator oil. Maybe that old Steve Martin joke has some truth to it.

      1. Okay, by that logic the water consumption of the grandparents of the McDonald’s workers counts as my water consumption. And by that logic, McDonald’s has zero water consumption, because it’s all mine.

        Do you know or understand that you pay for sewage processing for all water consumed? Water your lawn, pay for sewage treatment. Steam vegetables, pay for sewage treatment. Drink water in California, use the bathroom in Nevada, you paid for sewage treatment in California.

        I wasn’t saying that the McDonald’s workers were drinking their water AT McDonald’s. I’m thinking of all the water they consumed from infancy on. Like almonds.

  11. The idea of using an existing A/C sounds odd. For one thing, the cool side of the AC is on the inside of the house. Sure, it can remove some humidity, but that’s limited by the volume of air in your house and the leakage of air in to the house. That’s probably not much collected moisture. You’d have to vent in some more warm (relatively moist) air in to the house to continue to harvest. Perhaps ‘ a lot of it to keep the system efficient… but then the humans become uncomfortable. — So it sounds like a good brainstorming idea, but there seem to be some issues to resolve.

    1. Having seen what happened to our office when the AC of the server room in the office above had a hole in the drip tray, I’d say there’s plenty of water to be collected in some AC systems.

    2. No issues if you apply heat recovery ventilation. Incoming hot air is cooled by membrane-separated crossflow with the cold outgoing air. As a bonus you already get “free” water in the heat recovery unit. But then, HRV and proper insulation already delays the necessity of airco and reduces energy needed when active cooling _is_ necessary.

  12. Yup, I also wonder how much the output from AC (and the increasing use over time) contributes to the perceived outdoor temperature at a particular location. The power used however is going to contribute actual heat. Perhaps heat exchange with underground radiative tubing would be better, but then I wonder what fresh hell we will get ourselves into heating the ground. Sort of like how building data centers underwater to make use of temperatures there seems a recipe for altering ocean currents. I wish we would put more effort towards not using darker colored materials for our roads/roofs/etc and attempt to reflect off the sun’s energy.

    I’m with you. Let us find ways to combat bad decisions of the past, without making new ones, if only pushing the problem out further until we have better ideas. It still boggles my mind we don’t plant more trees and instead some folks try to sell biomass energy (burning trees) as “green” because it is a “renewable” resource. Not that burning waste from responsibly managed forestry would be bad. The concern is that they will over do it irresponsibly to facilitate financial interests.

    1. Nexiv, have a look at the Drax power plant in the UK. Formerly coal fired, it now burns “biomass” which is actually forestry products shipped from North America. I wish I was making this up.

      1. ‘Interesting. In a hypothetical world, I wonder if we could stop all mining for fossil fuels and instead burn only biomass. It would limit our carbon cycle size to a finite amount, but I suspect that much of the biomass would not burn cleanly. And as our population grew, groups would push to be allowed to drill/mine to expand the supply… or fight others for access to limited energy resources. :(

    1. Reading comprehension fail!

      From your link: “However, Stott said this was a short-term trend that could be within the natural range of variation and it would need to continue for another 10 years or so before it could be considered evidence that something was missing from climate models.”

      This isn’t a “walk back” or even a “look back” but rather a “how fast are we headed for the cliff”

      1. Indeed, even Lovelock said that the climate was warming, just not as fast as his CO2-induced warming predicted.

        What will tip this over is large-scale releases of CO2 from natural sources, for example: increased forest fires in upper latitudes, and melting of the Siberian permafrost. These releases will further increase CO2 (and methane) levels greatly, with no further human input. Tipping points like this are discontinuous and once they get going, largely unstoppable.

  13. I looked into this tech in detail a couple of decades ago and concluded that you are always up against the realities of thermodynamics and process efficiency limits. With the most advanced heat pump that is ground sourced and operating on a 24 hr cycle to take advantage of the day-night temperature differential you are still going to be needing a lot of energy that ends up as waste heat. The one area that seemed viable is emergency water depots in arid areas, so not regular consumption, just a way to accumulate enough water to save a person in an emergency.

  14. There is a company called zero mass water. Not sure if the device or the company has this name.
    Its a unit for off-grid water generation and is not using this cooling approach. Its using absorbing material like silikate that sucks the humidity out of the air. To get the water back, its simply heating it. Easier than extreme cooling.

    Saw it on youtube and its working fine.

  15. Who would have thought putting around 50 million people in a desert and supplying water by using the entire output of multiple nuclear reactors to drain underground aquifers was not a good long term plan.

    And then use even more of that water to grow water-intensive crops in said desert, not to feed your people but to export across the ocean in bunker-oil burning cargo ships.

    How can anyone possibly be surprised to be running out of water with such utter idiocy.

    And now the solution to replacing all that water wasted on crops grown in the desert to ship across the ocean is to use nearly 100kWh per person per day to try and produce more water. From the air. In the desert. 100kWh per person per day. My entire househould energy use isn’t much more than that per person per month.

    Sometimes, I think climate change rendering the world uninhabitable by humans is the cure, not the problem.

    1. CA pols caused this problem. First they opened the borders to 20 million migrants. Who doubled the population in less than a decade. Secondly they shunted water from Sierra snowpack to the ocean to save that stinking snail darter. which has wiped out a lot of farming in the SJV. Third they subsidized the farming of rice which is very water intensive.

      Oh yeah we also grow a lot of corn to be used as ethenol instead of food.

      Lets not talk about how Mulholland sucked Mono lake dry to feed out of control growth of Los Angeles. BTW every attempt to moderate urban sprawl and suburban blight has went down in defeat. Developers roll into city hall with suitcases full of cash and viola – instant tract approval.

      Don’t blame us when we tried to fight over development. Sheesh.

    2. Hey. Capitalism combined with idiocracy solves every persons needs. Letting the market solve things is soo naive.

      But its besides the big elephant in the room: this water is undrinkable as it is distilled water. No salts, no minerals. Perfect for flushing your toilet or taking a shower

    3. Well, California HAS deserts, but ISN’T a desert. The area you’re referring to, the San Joaquin Valley, is very fertile land and that’s why farmers settled there to raise their crops. It currently LOOKS like a desert because of the water tyranny imposed by the California Legislature. I know families that have worked their land in the valley for generations only to have the idiots in Sacramento, in the 70’s, start passing “environmental” laws that reduced the place to the state it is in today.

      California has only one active nuclear power plant (Diablo Canyon) with two reactors. The three reactors in the San Onofre plant went offline in 2013. Other plants that had operated in California have been offline for over thirty years. The cooling systems of Diablo Canyon and San Onofre drew water from the Pacific Ocean, not fresh water aquifers.

      See :
      https://www.energy.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/Nuclear_Power_Reactors_in_California_ada.pdf

      California’s aquifers are massive. But fresh water can’t build up in them because of salt water intrusion and the fact that fresh water is flushed yearly into the San Francisco bay.

      Zerg correctly pointed this and other things out in his post. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. California’s problems are self-inflicted. Other states would be wise to look at California as an excellent example of what not to do.

  16. Buying bottled water would be cheaper and more sustainable than this non-sense. Even if you are using solar pv, that energy can be useful. It’s not free. You could sell it back to the grid and use that money to buy water that’s been distilled through more efficient means. In all, this would cost you ~$50k for solar and this unit upfront. Even if it offset all your water needs assume $200, it would take over 20 years to payback assuming it even lasts that long.

    1. Living here on the outskirts of the Mojave desert I see things differently from the urban europeans and Americans posting here,.

      Most folks living in areas where well water is not available or too costly have water trucked into their water tanks. You can see them in used in Agua Dulce CA and Soledad for example. It works well if you don’t have a water guzzling lawn. Most have a xeriscape front yard

      Trying to lug 5 galllon jugs every day is a backbreaker. At a minimum you are looking at filling 30-40 a day to do a partial fill up of your water tank. In the summer for example running a swamp cooler will easily consume 20-30gallons a day. Running refrigerated AC is a costly option that easily have you end up with a $200-300 electric bill. You have to understand we have temperatures that hit 115 degrees on some days. Not as bad as Phoenix or Death Valley but it will stroke you out if you are dumb enough to work outside when temps get this high.

      You are not going to get water out of the air here. You need to go to coastal and mountain regions where there is a bit of moisture in the air. And given the cost of the unit most people will opt for trucked in water.

  17. You’re doing it all work if your deserts are still deserts.

    What you should be doing is planting trees near the coast – lots of them. These give off water vapour that’s sucked inland with the prevailing onshore wind. Then you’ll get your rain.

    I had one crazy technical idea though – as this is HaD – run offshore wind turbines which don’t generate electricity but instead pump, and shoot jets of seawater vertically into the air. This water will evaporate partially, the rest (more salty stuff) falls back into the sea. The water vapour then gets dragged inland on the coastal wind.

    1. While I don’t disagree such ideas have merit do have to be careful doing such dramatic changes as turning coastal desert into fertile land – its got a cost to do so (that might be better spent elsewhere), might without the right education lead to a massive unsupportable local population spike, will change local weather patterns (which might make other areas a bit further out too wet for their own plants, suddenly prone to erosion and flooding – especially if you do it really fast)

  18. I have one of these now in my basement. It is called a de humidifier. I guess we could use the water for something. I wonder if the folks in Ca would pay shipping? And just as an FYI, last time I got water, the really crappy tasting house brand gallon jug water at Walmart was 88 cents a gallon.

  19. Another way of Condensing Water is Fog Farming, there is some info online, I recently visited a site, that was,
    1) on side of mountain,
    2) High & cold, Lots of Fog
    The Owner had build a system of small “channels” with a fence on top in same line as trench, a Main line up center of hill, but with branches like veins on leaf, the fence was covered in hessian like material, when I saw it (they thought it may change), but it did collect water, and it all ran down the hill under gravity into a storage container.
    All very Green & Cheap, but he ran a 12v Water Pump/Purifer to move it from Storage to Caravan, So a Solar Panel was required for that ..

  20. In the article it is written:
    “Anyone that’s seen water dripping off an air conditioner unit will be familiar with the principles at play. There’s perhaps scope to investigate capturing condensation from large air conditioning units in commercial and industrial installations, where it could be purified for use on-site. This could potentially reduce water use without increasing power usage, as it relies on the existing air conditioning system as it’s already employed.”

    Whether or not that can be done depends on the a/c units. I had 3 package units in one place I lived. The oldest one (new in 1992) dripped. The other two, new in 2001, did not drip. They were designed for the condenser fan to pickup the condensate & throw it into the condenser coil to cool it by evaporation. The only problem was if there was not enough humidity on the evaporator side, the unit worked very poorly. I had to add water to the condenser pan pretty much daily in hot weather. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which is not hot & dry compared to much of the US, or even parts of Alberta, Canada.

  21. I’ve been so in love forever with landscapes like the one at the top of this page. But human driven climate change has almost certainly killed my dream of retiring to the southwest. Water from air generators vs. electricity rates-even for a one person household in detached housing-seems a too risky business, especially if the air in the southwest region keeps getting drier. And as ground water levels continue to drop there may be no point to also drill a ~ 150 ft well to supplement what water the generator makes. Over population and over consumption, the worst of all stupid human tricks. No undo button, folks.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.