Rain Tunnel: Drinking water from moisture in the atmosphere

1) Millions of people around the world don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. Increasing droughts are worsening the problem and could leave more people without access to clean water.

2) A Bangalore-based scientist has developed Rain Tunnel technology to produce clean drinking water from moisture in the atmosphere.

  • The Rain Tunnel uses a “Hypersonic Precipitator,” which employs extreme high-frequency sound waves to produce nano-water particles. The nano-particles can freeze at temperatures as high as 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit, and form ice crystals through vapor deposition in the precipitator chamber.
  • The “rain” is collected in a food-grade tank and treated with a five-stage process only when you are ready to drink, to avoid risk of stagnant water becoming contaminated.
  • The group has designed a household plug-in machine that can produce 30 liters of clean drinking water for a family, which it expects to be ready for commercial use by September.
  • As the first version will be plugged in, it will not address areas without electricity, but there are plans to ensure the device can leverage renewable energy sources like solar, wind or biomass.
  • Using water from the atmosphere is not a new idea, but previous technologies required energy-intensive systems to chill the air and high atmospheric humidity over 65 percent. The Rain Tunnel technology does not require very low temperatures to produce water, and depends on atmospheric conditions such as water vapor pressure, temperature, altitude and wind flow, instead of humidity.

3) Organizational stakeholders: Residents in areas with frequent droughts and/or lack of clean drinking water, senior government leaders, local government, small businesses, NGOs

4) Steps to deploying the technology:

  • Partner with several communities to conduct pilots to ensure device is ready for production & household use
  • Increase production and target communities that have access to the grid or community solar installation but face water shortages
  • Partner with NGOs that provide home & community solar installations

One thought on “Rain Tunnel: Drinking water from moisture in the atmosphere

  1. I thought that this evolution from traditional rain-catchers to ‘rain-producers’ is a very interesting solution to provide communities that are facing severe droughts and water restrictions with drinkable water. The proposition to make the clean water solution usable for farming is also essential because drought events not only affect people’s access to water but also impacts their food systems, thus threatening their ability to respond to all of their essential physiological needs. This article also shows how energy and water issues are fundamentally interlinked. The energy-efficiency of desalination projects is definitely a major challenge for coastal areas that are subject to drought. According to the Aquavus website, « The International Desalination Association (IDA) has challenged the industry to achieve a further reduction of 20% in energy requirements for seawater desalination by 2015 – to be achieved through a combination of the integration of renewable energy, the use of lower pressure solutions and potential advances in membrane technologies ».
    The quick development of those solutions as well as the commitment of starts ups all over the world to solve those challenges is also essential considering the following global drought prediction for the next decades.
    Thank you for your post!


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