Made-in-Vietnam generator gets drinking water out of air moisture

By Bich Ngoc   November 7, 2018 | 08:25 am GMT+7

Vietnamese scientists say they have made an atmospheric water generator that can produce up to 200 liters per day.

The generator uses cooling and filtration systems to produce potable water. Photovoltaic cells are also used to provide additional energy, besides typical electrical outlets.

The system works by using coolants to lower air temperature beyond the dew point, to between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, which causes water vapors to condense into droplets, which are then collected, filtered and mineralized to create drinking water.

A system to generate drinking water out of air moisture, invented by HCMC University of Natural Resources and Environment. Photo courtesy of HCMC University of Natural Resources and Environment

A system to generate drinking water out of air moisture, invented by HCMC University of Natural Resources and Environment. Photo courtesy of HCMC University of Natural Resources and Environment

Professor Phan Dinh Tuan of the HCMC University of Natural Resources and Environment said the project to generate potable water from moisture in the air began in 2016. He said that since the generator requires 5kW of electricity, which most electric grids cannot support, photovoltaic cells and a DC-AC converter are needed for it to function properly.

Initial prototypes could only collect 10 liters of water per day, but researchers were able to crank productivity up to 200 liters per day. With the moisture level in the air at 45 percent, the generator could produce 1.5 liters of water in an hour with 1.8kW of power, Tuan said.

The generator is undergoing test runs at the university and at the Van Lam Primary School in the central province of Ninh Thuan, where it provides drinking water for over 3,000 students and faculty members.

Ninh Thuan is usually hit by severe drought and the project is hoped to improve water supply in the province and similar places. 

Vietnam has been hit by harsh drought conditions very regularly in recent years. In 2016, the worst drought and saltwater intrusion in almost a century cost the country VND15 trillion ($669 million) in agriculture losses, with the Mekong Delta suffering particularly heavy damage.

 
 
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