Water Extraction from Air through Solar at Masdar, UAE

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The world’s first project to extract water from air using solar will be launched in August at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE. This will produce an uninterrupted water supply.

The pilot project for the same will takes place between AQUOVUM (a US-based water technologies company) and Masdar and Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

The project will evaluate the performance of AQUOVUM’s large-format Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) technology with a renewable energy source, and its ability to be included in current and/or future sustainable water projects.

As per the Global Market Insights, The market is expected to grow more than 25% (CAGR) across the world and 30% in Africa and the Middle East region with the contribution of AWG technology. Middle East and Africa are water-scarce with bad climates and the technology will help in getting good quality water.

Abdulla Balalaa, the executive director, Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar City, said: “Water underlies all areas of human and environmental health and it is also essential to food and energy production. Developing technologies that both protect and guarantee a constant and secure source of water, is therefore of utmost importance. The AQUOVUM pilot will be installed at Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute Solar Platform in Masdar City and will operate from 100% renewable power, a process that is completely carbon neutral.”

He further added, “The project will positively contribute to regional and global water security in line with the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036, and as the only planned and approved R&D cluster in Abu Dhabi, we are committed to facilitating R&D projects that bring ground-breaking new technologies to the world and contribute to building a more sustainable future for all. Masdar City is already home to over 900 companies, dedicated to developing innovative technologies across the sectors of renewables, energy storage, water, artificial intelligence, health, space, and mobility.”

Robert Wood, CTO of AQUOVUM, said, “To support and progress the global green transition and to ensure water security, we recognized that we must power our systems on 100 percent renewable energy to provide a truly sustainable water supply. Our bleeding-edge technologies work with nature and are the way forward to deliver lasting sustainable solutions.”

Dr. Nicolas Calvet, assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Khalifa University, founder and chair of the Masdar Institute Solar Platform, and principal investigator of the project, said: “Previously, we have focused on concentrated solar power and thermal energy storage, and we are diversifying our R&D activity at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform with clean production of freshwater. Indeed, solar and water should be the main pillars of research and development in the UAE and this project will run for 12 months and provide valuable performance data for a full year’s weather cycle.”

Azelio AB, Sweden, will supply the green power needed for 24/7 electrical thermal energy storage at Masdar Institute Solar Platform.

For the greener future and for accessing clean water, carbon-free technology is necessary and this will also contribute towards, United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG 6) of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

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