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IIT-Madras to develop this device to produce water from air

FE Bureau

Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) will be collaborating with Teerthaa, a sustainable technology company, to develop a device that can generate potable water from atmospheric air. Called Nero , the optimised desiccant solar still device will produce 4 to 5 litres of potable water per day.

The developed product will be cost-efficient as it is intended to reach the mass market at affordable prices, have negligible operating costs as its power source will be solar thermal energy and have minimal maintenance cost as there are no moving parts involved in the equipment, said a press release here on Friday.

Highlighting the importance of this development, Ravindra Gettu, dean (industrial consultancy and sponsored research), IIT-Madras, said, The collaboration is expected to have a major impact on remote areas and persons who are isolated from conventional water sources.

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According to Durga Das, chief executive officer, Teerthaa, We are interested in exploring and perfecting different technologies of Atmospheric Moisture Extraction (AME) as a part of our major national mission of availability of potable water for the masses. At present, we are producing AMEs based on vapour compression refrigeration technology in several output configurations. With Nero we will bring to light and enhance the lives of millions of homes in the villages where water is scarce.

Creating impact that reaches the masses is a mission close to our hearts. We brought the first Indian built atmospheric water generator in India 14 years ago and hold a patent for the same. Now we will bring the first solution that will generate 4-5 litres of water without any electricity and maintenance free, she added.

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Atmospheric air is not only a major source of fresh water but also universally available. However, it is in the form of vapour and the challenge is to collect it as liquid. The proposed solar still based on desiccant technology traps water molecules from the atmospheric air during the night and yields water during the day by utilising solar energy. It would be a boon to places where even the brackish water is not available, said MP Maiya of the refrigeration and air-conditioning laboratory, department of mechanical engineering, IIT-Madras.

Theerthaa, formerly known as Akash Ganga, has pioneered the technology of extracting water from thin air and delivered systems to 2,800 customers in the past 14 years, saving six lakh litres of water every day. It is great that they are diversifying their activity by venturing to this new technology to serve society better with pure drinking water.