This Solar Panel-Like Device Can Collect and Filter Drinking Water from the Air

updated Feb 2, 2020
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With solar panels, we can use our rooftop space to generate our own electricity. Now, a new kind of panel also allows people to make their own clean drinking water by filtering humidity from the air.

A company called Zero Mass Water has developed a “hydropanel” called Source, which uses sunlight and air to collect and filter drinkable water. Curbed explains how the technology works: 

“Sunlight powers fans inside the panel that pull in humidity from the air. Once inside the panel, air is purified and passed through a spongelike material that concentrates the water vapor and deposits it in a reservoir. The water is mineralized for drinking and ozonated to ensure it’s kept clean. All you have to do is install a tap or connect it to an appliance, such as a refrigerator.”

According to Zero Mass Water, a standard, two-panel hydropanel array can generate between 12 and 24 16.9-ounce bottles’ worth of water per day, depending on how sunny it is. Although the technology relies on moisture in the air, it supposedly works even in areas with relatively low humidity, like Arizona, where Zero Mass Water is headquartered.

The company estimates that a two-panel array, plus shipping and installation, will cost you between $5,500 and $6,500. Each panel should last 15 years. For more information, check out the Zero Mass Water website.