Renewable energy to assist atmospheric water generation (AWG)

Water

Atmospheric water generation (AWG) is gaining ground in the wake of worsening water crisis and climate change challenges.

AWG is ideal where water purification is not a practical solution and in places with little access to conventional water sources.

Harvesting water from the air using solar energy will go a long way in mitigating the main consequences of climate change, says a report titled “Technology Breakthroughs Shaping the Future of Atmospheric Water Generation,” from Frost & Sullivan.

The key to the success of AWG technology is the total use of renewable energy.

One of the most impactful applications is large-scale solar AWG for desert re-vegetation and agriculture.

Since the technology eliminates the burden of transporting water, it finds significant application in the army, areas that need disaster relief, offshore oil rigs, and in all water-scare regions, irrespective of their economic status.

Middle East, one of the worst affected geographies in the world, is a hotspot for AWG adoption.

However, AWG systems are notoriously energy-hungry. The vast amounts of energy required to generate water from the atmosphere puts it at odds with the current trend of energy conservation.

However, recent breakthroughs in energy-efficient technologies promise a brighter future for this once-ancient practice of obtaining water, says TechVision research analyst Jennifer Tan.

“Other processes and technologies that have given a boost to AWG adoption are advanced controls, effective disinfection, materials replacement and commercial water production machines,” Tan added.

Another issue that is dampening the sales of AWG systems is the skepticism of end users, who are still largely ignorant of the technology, Frost & Sullivan said.

Moreover, capital costs of this technology are higher than those of conventional and familiar water purification technologies.

As people are used to having water free, they are unwilling to install and maintain a machine to obtain water.

To enhance technology uptake, industry participants are developing AWG systems that can be run on renewable energy for both large-scale (farms, communities and municipalities) and small-scale (for households and offices) applications.

Industry analysts think this will make the technology more environmentally sustainable, at lower operating costs, while meeting the need for clean water.

“Key industry participants believe that as the market acceptance increases, the costs of AWG systems will reduce, making it a commercially feasible technology,” observed Tan.

Rajani Baburajan

editor@greentechlead.com