Berkeley University, Clean energy, Ecology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Omar Yaghi, Renewables, Sunlight, Water

Renewable energy powered device can harvest water from desert air

A solar-powered cube which harvests water from desert conditions has been developed by scientists in the USA.

The device can produce water in weather conditions which have as low as 20% humidity – in the UAE the humidity count is extremely high all year, averaging around 60%.

The team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Berkeley University developed the cube which houses an extremely porous material that can pull a large amount of water into its many tiny holes.

The heat from the sun converts the captured water molecules into vapour, allowing them to rise out of the material’s pores and into the device—a clear acrylic enclosure.

The cube has a condenser at the bottom of the vessel, which turns the vapour into liquid which is then forced into a chamber, from which it can be extracted as drinking water.

“This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity,” explained researcher Omar Yaghi.

“To have water running all the time, you could design a system that absorbs humidity during the night and evolves it during the day.”