AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a year where extreme heat and drought plagued many in Texas, water became a hot topic. For many, access to clean water isn’t an easy proposition. Technology may have found an answer for these communities.
Meteorologist Nick Bannin spoke with Colin Goddard with Source Global about the tech they’re deploying around the world, how it works and how it can provide water to people in need.
You can read the transcript below or watch the interview above to learn more.
NICK BANNIN, KXAN NEWS: Colin, you have technology that takes water out of the air. Can you tell us about it?
COLIN GODDARD, SOURCE GLOBAL: Our source hydro panel technology is designed to be a new tool in the growing challenges we face with accessing drinking water. You know, humans have been harvesting the vast amounts of moisture in the air for 1,000s of years. It’s an old strategy.
Now we can use really new and clever science and new materials to make sure that anyone, anywhere can make their own drinking water supply directly from the air all around. We do that with our source hydro-panel that converts the sunlight in the air around us to make clean drinking water.
BANNIN: How does it work?
GODDARD: First, it uses the power of the sun to power a fan and pulls in air all around the panel inside. And once it gets inside, we have our proprietary hygroscopic material, meaning a material that naturally absorbs moisture from the air to absorb that moisture. And then we use the solar thermal pieces to heat the air to a high temperature and apply the hot air and then the cooler ambient air.
That’s how we get our temperature change to condense water into liquid form from vapor. And that’s where you start with a clean, a great, clean drinking water. And then while it’s collecting, we add minerals to raise the pH and make it taste better.
Then we constantly recirculate it and use an ozone system to keep the water clean before it’s delivered to a sink in your house or a water fountain at your school or a whole, you know, community access point for an entire community. And that’s a whole system that operates fully off grid.
So it just uses the sunlight to power everything. And we don’t need external water connections. So we can put this in the middle of the desert pointed towards the sun, you can make your own drinking water just using that sunlight in there.
BANNIN: How long has this been in production? Is it ready for widescale use? Is it already being tested in some places?
GODDARD: So we have source hydro-panels operational in the ground in over 50 countries around the world providing drinking water from individual families to hold schools to entire communities all around the United States, in particular and in various parts of Texas even. And we’re able to use this technology to reach those folks who haven’t had a pipe system or their wells running dry or they’re drinking out of a plastic bottle.
Now they can get through all of that by being able to make their own drinking water directly from the atmosphere in the air all around.