French company uses wind turbine to create fresh water

May 01, 2012 by Bob Yirka report
French company uses wind turbine to create fresh water

(Phys.org) -- French company Eole Water has announced that they have developed and are now in the process of selling wind turbines that have been modified to produce fresh drinking water. Company reps say the new turbines should be a boon to remote communities that have limited access to fresh drinking water.

The initial product, called the WMS1000 is capable, the company claims, of producing up to 1000 liters of clean fresh water every day in a humid climate. They also say the turbines are based on existing technology and are easy to maintain and use.

The turbines work by combining two current types of technology; traditional generation of electricity using wind as the driving force, and compressors commonly used by dehumidifiers and refrigerators. Anyone who has ever seen a dehumidifier in action can understand right away how the new turbines work. Air is pulled in, cooled and compressed, causing moisture in it to condense to water where it can be removed and used.

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The new turbines create electricity in the same way as other wind generators, some of which is used to run the compressor. The water that is produced drips down to the base of the turbine tower where it is filtered and delivered for use. Most that buy and use such a system would also likely need to add a collecting tank to hold water for use during peak times.

Eole Water has also added extra features to the turbine and tower to make them more robust. One of those is large filters on the front of the turbine to keep out dust and dirt particles. Another is the ability to easily raise and lower the entire turbine and tower for maintenance and repair. The company claims one tower would be able to produce all the water needed for a town of two to three thousand people, though of course that would depend on where the town is located. Those in arid areas would find water output much less as there would be less available to pull from the air.

The new turbines do have one major drawback and that is the price, which is close to three quarters of a million US dollars per system, though the company says it expects that figure to decline as more units are made and sold.

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User comments : 28

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Telekinetic
2.8 / 5 (9) May 01, 2012
Little do people realize that this will throw off the global balance of moisture, perhaps even robbing suburban lawns of morning dew.
kaasinees
2.6 / 5 (10) May 01, 2012
I geuss the rich arabs from the oil industry are the targeting groups now. Europe and america are dried out of money.
Shootist
1.9 / 5 (9) May 01, 2012
I geuss the rich arabs from the oil industry are the targeting groups now. Europe and america are dried out of money.


Oh, rubbish. The printing presses work just fine.
kaasinees
2.6 / 5 (10) May 01, 2012
Paper is not worth anything.
yoatmon
3 / 5 (4) May 01, 2012
Paper is not worth anything.

You can't make such a general statement; you have to differentiate at least between newspaper and toilet paper.
Lurker2358
2.6 / 5 (5) May 01, 2012
Paper is not worth anything.

You can't make such a general statement; you have to differentiate at least between newspaper and toilet paper.


In the age of the internet, Newspaper has net negative value, since it is a waste of raw materials and the fuel to transport it to distribution sites.

At least you can wipe your ass with toilet paper. Well, you can wipe your ass with newspaper too, but it costs more and leaves an ink stain.

Snafu79
4 / 5 (4) May 01, 2012
1000L a day, for two to three thousand people? Thas is somewhere between 330mL and 500mL each...
kaasinees
3.2 / 5 (9) May 01, 2012
1000L a day, for two to three thousand people? Thas is somewhere between 330mL and 500mL each...

Good point, however you missed the point that the town has other sources of water as well. They didnt say the device itself supports 2-3k people they said the device can support a town of up to 2-3k people.
Snafu79
4 / 5 (4) May 01, 2012
1000L a day, for two to three thousand people? Thas is somewhere between 330mL and 500mL each...

Good point, however you missed the point that the town has other sources of water as well. They didnt say the device itself supports 2-3k people they said the device can support a town of up to 2-3k people.


From the article, " The company claims one tower would be able to produce all the water needed for a town of two to three thousand people"
kaasinees
2.5 / 5 (13) May 01, 2012
Ok you just proved that you are illiterate and have reading comprehension problems.

Read my post again very carefully.
SCVGoodToGo
3.7 / 5 (3) May 01, 2012
My first job was programming binary load lifters, very similar to your moisture vaporators in most respects.
Feldagast
3 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Doesn't say anything about other water sources, your assuming that there is.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) May 01, 2012
French company uses wind turbine to create fresh water

Sounds a lot like they have been reading 'Dune'.
But the idea is pretty good. Gives windfarms something to do in the off-peak hours.

Little do people realize that this will throw off the global balance of moisture

How so? Where do you think that gathered moisture will go? Simply disappear?
kaasinees
3 / 5 (8) May 01, 2012
The problem with deserts is that they have no ecology to hold water.
This is what most forest do they hold the water near the ground and the healthy soil ecology holds water in the soil.
Deserts dont have this so all the moist in the air is mostly wasted , goes somewhere else.
With the rising melting of ice caps we need to do something, use that water in the air and hold it somewhere, with this turbine we can do the same as forests do.
Maybe with this method we can even promote ecology in the desert together with biochar or some other techniques.
Sean_W
2.3 / 5 (3) May 01, 2012
I've been told that in the US, where desert states use irrigation farming one can see how evaporation from the fields condenses down wind in the evening and falls as rain, causing the desert there to start forming grassland and such. Do a bit of simple desert reclamation projects down wind of the farms and you could compound this advantage. Sculpt the land to limit runoff, dig some holes and fill them with rocks to maintain water and shield it with wood chips or other plant matter and then plant trees around it to shelter the whole thing.

The actual farms could install water retaining under pads since desert farms lose more water downwards that upwards. While this would recharge the aquifers, delaying it untill it has transpirated/evaporated and fallen as rain again would give it a chance to be used twice before that happens.
Pressure2
1.7 / 5 (6) May 01, 2012
Quote from article: "producing up to 1000 liters of clean fresh water every day in a humid climate."

Notice the words "humid climate". Why would a humid climate need something like this?
javjav
5 / 5 (5) May 01, 2012
Notice the words "humid climate". Why would a humid climate need something like this?

Many islands have this problem. They have humidity (a lot, as they are islands) but many of them have short raining seasons or no mountains nor other places to store rain.

In these cases, the question is if a compressor can be more efficient than using the same electricity with standard desalinization techniques, which I doubt
RealScience
3.7 / 5 (6) May 01, 2012
Little do people realize that this will throw off the global balance of moisture, perhaps even robbing suburban lawns of morning dew.


Very funny, Tele!
But it looks like others thought that you were serious - you should add an emoticon to help them recognize humor...
simplicio
4 / 5 (8) May 01, 2012
The problem with deserts is that they have no ecology to hold water.

Why you need ecology to hold water? Much water can be stored under ground in rocks called aquifers. Many populations already use this water in dry places around the world.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) May 01, 2012
750,000 dollars. One in every village. Ha ha ha ha ha ....
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
Why not use reverse osmosis? Pressure supplied by pumping sea water into a raised tank and allowing the pressure to drive the filtering process?

Lurker2358
4.3 / 5 (6) May 02, 2012
Why you need ecology to hold water? Much water can be stored under ground in rocks called aquifers. Many populations already use this water in dry places around the world.


Yes, and while the Sahara desert actually has one of the largest aquifers in the world, it will eventually run out of water, as humans are already extracting water from it faster than it is replenished.
GaryB
3.7 / 5 (3) May 05, 2012
Paper is not worth anything.


BS, I just went into a starbucks not 10 minutes ago, handed them greenbacks and they gave me food in exchange. This money idea works!
christ_jan
2.6 / 5 (5) May 05, 2012
Paper is not worth anything.


BS, I just went into a starbucks not 10 minutes ago, handed them greenbacks and they gave me food in exchange. This money idea works!

BS that paper is a token of a mutual agreement, nothing more nothing less.
Its still a piece of paper that some people wipe their ass with.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) May 06, 2012
Notice the words "humid climate". Why would a humid climate need something like this?

Think of the coastline of Africa and the possibility of building waterpipes.

Even if it produces a fraction of that in arid climates it may still be well worth it.
Aeramor
not rated yet May 06, 2012
My first job was programming binary load lifters, very similar to your moisture vaporators in most respects.


Hahaha! Classy.
Camille
5 / 5 (1) May 06, 2012
Last year Texas went through its worst drought in more than a century. Direct agricultural losses are estimated at $5.2 billion. How many cattle could an Eolewater machine have saved? The air is so humid down there you sometimes feel like you could cut it with scissors....
rwinners
not rated yet May 07, 2012
Neat idea. But the numbers work out to $1000 a person. I presume that there would be added benefits, such as electricity, in addition to clean water. If the unit were supplying 100% of the water and electrical needs of 1000 people, it might be a bargain!