You may remember that back in March, the Water Abundance Xprize named the five finalists in its contest to demonstrate the sustainable and scalable collection of water from the air. Interestingly, none of those finalists were the winner — after one dropped out, an eliminated team stepped in and took the prize.
The goal of the program was to collect “a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100 percent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter.” No simple task! In fact, I would have guessed it was an impossible one.
But many teams made the attempt anyway, and with a variety of approaches at that. For instance, the runner-up and $150K prize winner, Hawaii’s JMCC Wing, combined a large, super-efficient wind turbine with a commercial condenser unit.
The winner was Skysource/Skywater Alliance, which has already deployed many of its units abroad (and, apparently, at Miranda Kerr’s house). They can run off the grid or alternative power sources, and use an extremely efficient adiabatic distillation method. The one for the contest was a new prototype they call Wood-to-Energy Deployed Emergency Water, or WEDEW.