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Earth Hardware Science

Wind Turbine Extracts Water From Air 227

An anonymous reader writes "Getting access to enough water to drink in a desert environment is a pretty tough proposition, but Eole Water may have solved the problem. It has created a wind turbine that can extract up to 1,000 liters of water per day from the air. All it requires is a 15mph wind to generate the 30kW's of power required for the process to happen. The end result is a tank full of purified water ready to drink at the base of each turbine."
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Wind Turbine Extracts Water From Air

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  • by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:50PM (#39726865)

    Doesn't that include 0 liters? So they're possibly creating exactly what every rock, stick, and insect in the desert already does?

    In case it's not clear, this whole business of "up to x whatevers" is ambiguous. Why don't they just tell us the the criteria involved. Like what different conditions can be expected to supply.

  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7&cornell,edu> on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:59PM (#39726973) Homepage

    Smaller tropical islands are very humid but often don't have enough rainfall to keep an adequate freshwater supply, and as a result use desalination plants.

    A turbine like this would work quite well in such an environment.

  • by mrflash818 ( 226638 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:02PM (#39727007) Homepage Journal

    ...Then the people consuming the electricity can chose to use it to run moisture water condensers, or make electricity for things like running air conditioning?

    Or, win/win: Put up wind farms that generate electricity.
    Run electricity to dwellings. Have the dwellings run air conditioning systems that also collect condensed water.

  • by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:04PM (#39727041)

    I'd say it has about as much effect as wind turbines do on the wind, ie not much. Its only sucking moisture out of a very, very tiny level of the atmosphere, and only a very tiny cross-section of that. They just won't have any appreciable effect, no matter how many of them you install.

  • Re:Windtrap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:25PM (#39727363)
    Wasn't the air so devoid of moisture there that you needed a breathing apparatus to not dessicate that way?

    Which brings me to a serious point: does that "up to 1000 liters of water per day" mean "If you put it right next to a lake with a really strong wind and the humidity is 99%"? The yield must depend on moisture. Is this going to be useful in the Sahara or just outside of Las Vegas?
  • by __aaeihw9960 ( 2531696 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:32PM (#39727463)

    no matter how many of them you install

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible

    One has to wonder about the impact of several million of these, though. - One car doesn't do much polluting, but Los Angeles sure does have a lot of smog.

  • Spoiler alert (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @05:14PM (#39727971) Homepage

    But if you kill the sandworms, you'll also destroy the spice.

  • Re:Windtrap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IcyHando'Death ( 239387 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @06:49PM (#39729141)

    The yield must depend on moisture. Is this going to be useful in the Sahara or just outside of Las Vegas?

    From TFA:

    A prototype unit was constructed and erected in Abu Dhabi 6 months ago and has consistently produced up to 800 liters of water a day.

    There's that "up to" again. This is marketing speak. I make a point of mentally translating it to "never, under any circumstances, more than", or "between 0 and". Anybody who intends to give helpful information gives an average and possibly standard deviation, including whatever conditions needed to attain those figures. If your only intent is to promote your tech, you say "up to".

    On another note, this is not likely to be used to provide drinking water where seawater or ground water high in salts is available. You'd get more bang for your wind power with desalination. On the other hand it could be very useful for drip irrigation, where salts remaining in desalinated water and even relatively good ground water present long term problems for agriculture as they accumulate over time to concentrations that no crops can tollerate.

  • Re:see also (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @06:57PM (#39729231)

    In the drinks section of a western petrol station, water can cost several times more than petrol!

  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @09:36PM (#39730483) Homepage

    I'd say once you start factoring in the cost of pipelines and pumps from the coast it gets a lot closer to parity, especially when you're talking about many remote and dispersed communities. With this tech you just drop a unit anywhere and there's your water.

    Very true... and another advantage for this idea is that it's defensible. The problem with pipelines is they stretch for miles through the wilderness, and some people have an annoying tendency to sabotage or tap into them. The windmill, on the other hand, is easier to guard because it's all in one spot.

  • by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:30PM (#39731013)

    No pollution in LA is entirely an artifact of what comes out of exhaust pipes, just because it can blow somewhere else doesn't mean it's no longer pollution.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?