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The 'miracle turbine'

April 23, 2012
tags:#renewable energy, #wind turbine
by:Itai Lahat
Imagine living on a remote and off the grid place with no access to water or electricity. Well, that’s actually something that still characterizes the life of more than a billion people on the planet. But now, according to the new product by French company Eole, that might easily be changed.

The company has introduced its new wind turbine that can create water in a dry desert air. Eole is working in the United Arab Emirates to test a wind turbine that can produce hundreds of liters of drinking water every day from dry desert air. Tests began in October on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi and so far, the turbines have managed to produce 500 to 800 liters of water a day. The company is hoping to soon reach 1,000 liters a day.

So how does this work anyway? Intake vents around the nose cone of the turbine allow wind to enter, which is then heated by a generator and turned into steam. The steam is compressed, allowing moisture to collect, which is then condensed and the water is sent through pipes into stainless steel tanks for purification and filtration.

The turbine generates 30 kilowatts of electricity which delivers the water to the storage tanks and then powers the purification and filtration system. Winds at 25 kilometers an hour or more are needed in order to produce water.

Eole Water was founded in 2008, but the concept of producing water without access to a network has been around for more than 20 years. Mark Parent, the founder of Eole Water, was living on Saint Barthelemy Island when he first came up with the idea. He had no access to a water network, so he collected condensation from his air conditioning unit and paired the process with a wind energy system.

“Water shortage is a real problem — 1.1 billion people in the world cannot get clean water, and 15,000 die every day due to diseases caused by drinking unsanitary water,” says Parent. “Politicians around the world understand this is something that will only get worse. But, with our system, we believe we have something that will help normal people have the means to do something to avert a crisis that could be only five or ten years off.”

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Itai Lahat