In remote areas without access to fresh drinking water, there is often the dual concern of a lack of electricity — which is what makes French company Eole Water’s innovative wind turbine, the WMS1000, so intriguing. Eole’s modified turbine not only harnesses wind for energy, but includes a compressor similar to that of a dehumidifier, which pulls in air to generate condensation. The condensate is then harvested to produce up to 1000 liters of fresh, clean drinking water each day.
Image screen grab from video WMS1000 – Eole Water on Youtube
Eole Water claim that a single WMS1000 turbine can provide enough water for a village of two to three thousand people. Designed to last for around 20 years the makers describe the turbine as both sustainable and autonomous. With water ever present in the air, the turbines can generate usable water with more reliability than a well or a borehole.
With the capacity to generate 30kW, it does not require an additional power source and releases no CO2 emissions. Eole have also designed an independent solar panel powered alternative, as well as a compressor which can tie into an electrical grid in areas where water scarcity is of greater concern than lack of power.
As Physorg points out, there are some significant variables to the turbine’s water production ability — those in arid areas would find water output to be less than those in more humid climates. A prototype currently in the desert near Abu Dhabi has, however, been able to produce 62 liters of water per hour.
The fantastically simple design has additions which make it easier to run and maintain in remote areas. The turbine features a large filter on its front to reduce the amount of dust pulled into the system as it sucks in air to produce the condensation. It also can be raised and lowered to allow for easier repairs of the 24 meter high turbine.
The manufacturers hope to make the WMS1000 turbines commercially available later this year, but have cited concerns about its current expense. Designed to serve communities without infrastructure, it currently costs between $660,000 and $790,000 to install a single turbine. Eole Water hopes remain enthusiastic about the potential of the turbines, and hope that as an industrial process is developed for the technology, the price will fall with its availability.