An Indian startup wants to produce water from thin air using solar energy
Thursday, April 5, 2018
By Sushma U N
Uravu is on a mission to generate water out of thin air.
If things go according to the Hyderabad-based startup’s plan, its technology to convert atmospheric moisture into usable—even potable—water will be available for household use in around two years from now.
The technology itself is not new. Even today, water is being generated by cooling the air and condensing the water vapour in it. This is being used for irrigation or industrial purposes.
However, this system is cumbersome in its existing form for residential use.
“You need high humidity and energy consumption (involved) is high. There are a lot of moving parts. What we wanted to do was have a simple modular device,” said Swapnil Shrivastav, who co-founded Uravu in 2017 with five others. His firm’s innovation is cheaper than the existing refrigeration-based systems, primarily because there’s no need for electricity.
Uravu uses a proprietary water-absorbing material that sucks vapour from the air and uses solar thermal energy to convert it into water. “There’s no need of any electricity or moving parts. It is just a passive device that you can leave on your rooftop and it will generate water. The process starts at night, and by evening next day you’ll have water,” Shrivastav, an alumnus of the National Institute of Technology Calicut, explained.
Photo courtesy of Ron Kroetz.