Air Conditioner Condensate Re-Purposed for Water

Sustainability Problem: Water

The United Nations suggests, “Water is primary medium through which we feel the effects of climate change.” Across the globe, water can be a scarce resource, especially in drier climates that have frequent droughts and water shortages. Nonetheless, the demand for water continues throughout communities, governments, private and public businesses. As water becomes scarcer, entities must think about how to meet their demand for water.

Technology: Air Conditioner Condensate Reuse System

Article: Malloy, Chris. “Dry Cities Look to Reuse Air Conditioner Water.” Bloomberg. 11 May 2021. “https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-11/dry-cities-look-to-reuse-air-conditioner-waterhttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-11/dry-cities-look-to-reuse-air-conditioner-water

• Air conditioners typically produce a byproduct water, known as condensate, that gets drained and is largely unused
• Across the globe, corporate office buildings, like Microsoft’s Herzliya Office, and governmental buildings, like the Austin Central Library, are re-purposing the condensate produced by their air conditioners. For example, the Austin Central Library now generates 90% of it’s annual water supply, or 350,000 gallons, from reuse of air conditioner condensate
• The water from air conditioner condensate reuse can be used for landscaping, cooling buildings, watering green gardens, facilitating toilets, shortening water supply chains, and contributing to the building’s water supply
• Many cities like Austin, San Francisco and San Antonio offer incentives for companies that reclaim water; however, condensate reuse requires upfront capital and is not suited for all geographies—hot and humid environments are optimal to produce the most water from condensate

Stakeholders:

• Local governmental organizations
• Commercial organizations
• Schools
• Residential buildings
• Facilities management teams
• Urban planners

Implementation:

1) Identify the entity’s HVAC systems in scope
2) Determine entity’s HVAC systems’ current condensate drainage output
3) Perform a cost benefit analysis, taking the upfront costs for an air conditioner condensate reuse system to be implemented into consideration as well as any local governmental incentives, and the timeline to achieve a ROI

One thought on “Air Conditioner Condensate Re-Purposed for Water

  1. I think this is awesome, and also interesting that it wasn’t anyone from the air conditioning industry that seems to be spearheading these endeavors, just people who realized that we are creating a commodity that is continually growing more and more scarce.

    An additional highlight from the article I would add is that the Ballast Point brewery was able to turn the water into a potable beverage. It was unclear whether or not the condensate is potable upon initial collection, but using it for brewing seems like a great way to know that it has been sterilized before consumption. And, probably pretty tasty, as a result.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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