IIT Madras, in association with Teerthaa has announced that it will develop a Solar-powered Atmospheric Water Generator device.
Devices that can produce water from ambient air have been under development for such a long time that a whole category, called Atmospheric Water Generators or AWG, has been named for them.
The IIT Madras and Teerthaa initiative, by going for solar power, is evidently looking for more semi-permanent or use cases in areas where access is an issue for both clean water and power.
The MoU was signed by Ravindra Gettu, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT-Madras, and Durga Das, CEO, Teerthaa.
Teerthaa, a firm earlier known as Akash Ganga, claims to have established the technology of extracting water from thin air and delivered systems to 2,800 customers in the last 14 years saving six lakh litres of water every day, as per release from IIT-Madras.
Called NERO, as it has been tentatively called, the team is looking for a product that meets Indian necessities of being low cost, efficient, and low maintenance, as solar generation will also eliminate a lot of moving parts.
Durga Das, CEO of Teerthaa says, “We are interested in exploring and perfecting different technologies of Atmospheric Moisture Extraction (AME) as a part of our major national mission of availability of potable water for the masses. At present, we are producing AMEs based on vapour compression refrigeration technology in several output configurations. With NERO, we will bring to light and enhance the lives of millions of homes in the villages where water is scarce. Creating impact that reaches the masses is a mission very close to our hearts. We brought the 1st Indian built atmospheric water generator in India 14 years ago and hold a patent for the same. Now we will bring the first solution that will generate 4-5 litres of water without any electricity and maintenance free.”
Prof M.P. Maiya, who heads the refrigeration and air conditioning laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-M adds that, “The proposed solar still based on desiccant technology traps water molecules from the atmospheric air during the night and yields water during the day by utilising solar energy. It would be a boon to places where even the brackish water is not available.”
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