Windmills are a good mean for obtaining clean, renewable energy, but somehow they have always been on the second place, behind the solar energy. However, it seems that these huge fans can provide much more than it appears at first glance. The French company Eole Water has developed a wind turbine that collects wind energy and fresh water from the air.
Thanks to its turbines – WMS1000- this windmill can condense water vapour, even in the driest weather. This means that it is possible to produce dozens or hundreds of litres of drinking water per hour.
The turbine looks and works like a standard wind turbine generating 30 kilowatts of electricity. However, in a separate process air passes through the interior cooling compressor, similar to that of the air conditioner. When the wind blows, the air that passes through the turbine cools by the compressor from which it draws water vapour.
Water condenses into droplets that are rolling down through stainless steel pipe and from there pass through the filtration system. The process is completely powered by the turbine, thus providing self-sustaining system.
Eole Water currently has a working prototype that is installed in a desert area near Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Wind turbines produce approximately 62 litres of water per hour from the air with a relative humidity of 45% and the temperature 24 degrees. In favourable conditions, could provide 1200 litres per day.