These units, said to be capable of producing 40-100 gallons of clean water per day, can be powered by solar or solar plus grid power.
Last week, I covered the WaterSeer, a small atmospheric water generator that claims to be able to produce up to 11 gallons of water per day, with no additional energy inputs, at an estimated purchase price of just $134. Today, we go all the way to the other end of the spectrum with a home- and business-sized water generator said to be capable of producing between 40-100 gallons of potable water daily, but which requires both a solar thermal and an electricity input, and which comes with a price tag of some $9000.
The SunToWater devices are completely different from the WaterSeer, both in terms of the process involved and the target market. Whereas the WaterSeer extracts water from the air using the difference in temperature between the above-ground turbine and the collection chamber installed six feet underground, and is targeted to areas of water poverty and the developing world, the SunToWater is more similar to a high-tech dehumidifier, and its target market appears to be homeowners with big lawns and landscapes to water and swimming pools that need filling.
SunToWater's device won first prize in the 2015 Impact Challenge from Singularity University, which focused on drought solutions, as well as top place in the Founder Showcase Competition, a Silicon Valley seed-stage startup event, and is now available for reservation with a refundable deposit of $500, although the only delivery details are "within the next 12-18 months."
The device uses a combination of salts (which pull the moisture out of the air), fans, solar heat (which pulls the water out of the salt), and a condenser (to extract the distilled water for use), and requires both a solar thermal input (to provide the heat) and an electric input (which could be from a solar panel array or from the grid). The water produced by the unit is piped to a tank (not included) where it can then be directed as desired, and installation of the units is "about the same cost as installing a hot tub." Multiple units can be stacked for more water generation capacity for larger homes or businesses, but the solar thermal units aren't included in the purchase price either, so that will need to be figured in as an additional cost.
According to the company, the units, which come with a 10-year warranty and are about the size of an AC unit, can produce water at a price ranging between 3.5¢ to 8¢ per gallon, depending on the power source used and the heat and humidity conditions at the location, with an estimated energy consumption of about 0.51kWh per gallon.
Find out more at SunToWater.