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Start-up behind hydroplanes that make water out of thin air

Start-up behind hydropanels that make water out of thin air

March 30, 2022: -They’re like solar panels, except instead of electricity, they produce water. Source Global’s hydroplanes create water out of thin air and bring it where it’s most needed. CEO Cody Friesen invented the panels in 2014 at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, where he’s on the faculty.

A year later, turning the science into Source Global. The start-up’s panels cost about $2,000 apiece.

“We take sunlight and air, and we can produce drinking water essentially anywhere on the planet,” Friesen said. “And so we take water that has historically been humanity’s greatest challenge and turn it into a perfect renewable resource everywhere,” Friesen added.

Source’s hydroplanes take in water vapor from the air and pack it into a form that’s nearly 10,000 times more concentrated than in the atmosphere. Using the sun’s warmth, the system converts the molecules into liquid water, which is collected in a reservoir inside the panel and then released as pure water.

By 2018, Friesen had installed 40 hydro panels in Kenya, where members of the Samburu Girls Foundation faced daily danger on their journeys to find water. They have their water source.

“We can make perfect water, at your home, at your school, in your community in a way that is bringing it into the 21st century,” said Friesen.

Source’s hydroplanes are installed in 52 countries in 450 separate projects. The company is raising $150 million from investors, including Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, BlackRock, Duke Energy, and the Lightsmith Group.

This technology is needed in places like India, where 800,000 villages don’t have clean drinking water. Friesen cited World Health Organization, which shows that by 2025 “half the world’s population will be in water-stressed areas.”

In the U.S, there are 1.5 million miles of lead pipes still in the ground and about 750 water main breaks a day, according to Friesen. The business opportunity, he said, is enormous. There’s a domestic need as well.

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Start-up behind hydroplanes that make water out of thin air