These Solar Panels Generate Clean Drinking Water

Zero Mass Water / YouTube

Your future house will have solar panels; that you knew. But you might not have guessed that your future house may also have different panels that generate drinkable water, too.

An Arizona startup called Zero Mass Water is manufacturing “solar-powered personal water production systems” that collect water vapor from heated air. The water vapor then becomes potable water after it has a chance to cool down. The technology branded, Source effectively pulls water out of thin air to cover the daily needs of a family of four, the company promises.

Source joins other technology, like the “Drinkable Book” and experimental waste water filters, in trying to improve the world’s access to water that is safe to drink.

Notably, the Source panels don’t need an external power source to run, like other solar panels that also purify water, explains a blog post on the website for Duke Energy International — a power holdings company, and a partner in the project.

In September, Zero Mass Water panels were installed in homes, at a school, and at a social services center with a medical clinic in Guayaquil, Ecuador, a coastal city. Some 250,000 people rely on expensive water sold from trucks. (It rains a lot in Ecuador, but potable water is scarce.)

A funding and partnership request on the Clinton Foundation website also states there were plans for pilot projects in Peru and Chile that would affect 20 households. (It’s unclear if Ecuador was chosen instead.)

Zero Mass Water is working on an even bigger deployment, though: An installation of the water-generating solar panels is underway in Jordan. The company claims they will help Syrian refugees in the country. It could eventually help as many as 200,000 people, the company projects.

Inverse reached out to Zero Mass Water to ask about its plans. We’ll update this story when we hear back.

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