Spotted: Those who live off the grid are used to using portable generators for electricity. Now, Israeli company Watergen has developed a portable atmospheric water generator. The ‘Mobile Box’ allows those who travel or live in a vehicle to produce their own fresh water – a prospect appealing to a range of nomads, from RV retirees, to van lifers, to off-grid tiny home dwellers.
Users plug the Mobile Box into a 12-volt or 220-volt oulet, like those found in vehicles. The unit sucks air in through a fan, then runs it through a filter, followed by a heat exchanger that uses condensation to extract water from the air. Finally, the water passes through a filtration system that includes a UV light to kill bacteria, before being stored in a reservoir. According to Watergen, the system can produce around 20 litres of water per day.
For those with a larger vehicle, such as an RV or tiny home, the Mobile Box also has a larger version, the ‘On Board’, where a streamlined heat exchanger—that looks a bit like a roof box—is placed on the vehicle’s roof. The heat exchanger can then pipe the water through the vehicle’s plumbing directly to the faucets. This larger version can produce up to 50 litres of drinking water a day.
In addition to supplying individual users, Watergen is also targeting the commercial sector with the promise of an environmentally-friendly source of drinking water. For users, the main benefits are that it saves costs and reduces plastic waste. This is because the system removes the need for plastic water bottles and containers.
Regional water shortages, and the impact of global warming, have placed a new urgency on the development of systems for water purification and generation. Recent water-focused innovations spotted by Springwise include a wave-powered desalination system, and an economical portable solar distiller.
Written By: Lisa Magloff