Harvesting 1,000 litres of drinking water per day from thin air? Yes, you heard that right.
The South Central Railway division of the Indian Railways has installed an ‘atmospheric water generator’ kiosk at the Secunderabad Railway Station in Telangana.
Worried about the lack of clean drinking water while you are on the go? Fret not, here’s a portable water filter that will give you clean drinking water, anywhere, anytime!
Called the ‘Meghdoot,’ this atmospheric water generator (AWG), has been developed and manufactured in India by Hyderabad-based startup Maithri Aquatech.
For M Ramakrishna, the MD of the company, the inspiration for the Meghdoot came from watching people suffer around him because of the unavailability of potable water.
The solution, he believed, would be one which is self-sustaining, eco-friendly and low cost. In the process, he discovered that the answer was staring right at him—air.
“Air is sucked into the system through an electrostatic filter. Subsequently, cooled coils located in the path of air provide a temperature differential between the air and the coil surface resulting in condensation. Water is then passed through various filters to remove solids and to remove any odour and any bacterial content. The water produced is pure and free of any biological/chemical contamination,” says Ramakrishna, speaking to Economic Times.
What’s the principle of AWG?
“An AWG or atmospheric water harvester is a device that uses [the] dehumidification principle to generate drinking water out of moisture present in the air. The Atmospheric water generator captures the humidity in the air and condenses by cooling the humid ambient air below its dew point, along with pressurizing the air or exposing the air to desiccants to make water. The AWG channels water vapour towards an evaporation system in a confined sanitary environment before it exposed to pollution” reads the company website.
“The Meghdoot portable atmospheric water generator is the premium-quality drinking water equipment that generates water by condensing vapour with the help of high-efficiency filters. The moisture is drawn through the double-layered anti-bacterial air filters and ionized before converting into pure water. The collected water is then subjected to pre and post charcoal filtration process to make water free from all-set of impurities,” it goes onto add.
The water produced is further treated with Ozone. The startup goes onto claim that there is no water wastage, unlike RO devices and desalination systems. The machine contains two filters of 1 micron and 12 microns to filter suspended particles floating in the air unseen by the naked eye. Meanwhile, to produce 1 litre of water, only 0.3 units of energy is required.
What do passengers have to pay for this water?
Anywhere between Rs 2 to Rs 8, according to recent media reports. If you carry your bottle, you pay Rs 5. But if you need a bottle as well, it will cost you Rs 8. Meanwhile, for a glass measuring 300 ML, it would cost passengers Rs 3 and Rs 2 depending on whether the passenger carries their own glass. Similarly, for a 500 ML glass, it would cost Rs 5 or Rs 3 depending on whether you’re carrying your own glass.
For commuters passing through the Secunderabad Railway Station, this could prove to be a boon and offers them alternative choices to the bottled water sold in the station.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)