A new solar hydropanel developed by Arizona-based startup Zero Mass Water uses the sunlight to pull water from the air.

How does it work?

A standard solar panel is paired with two hydropanels. The hydropanels consist of two different proprietary materials – one generates heat, and the other absorbs moisture from the air. The photovoltaic at the center drives a fan and the system’s communication with the hydropanels. The water harvested from the air is being condensed into an onboard, 30-liter reservoir. Then, it is mineralized with calcium and magnesium. Now it’s ready to be routed directly to a tap.

Each panel has the potential to draw up to 10 liters of water per day, but it depends on the humidity of the region. According to Zero Mass Water, even low-humidity regions can effectively benefit from this technology.

This is definitely not the cheapest method for dealing with water scarcity and poor water quality. The generators are costly in terms of the initial investment. Conserving water and recycling water are far more cost-effective solutions to the aforementioned problems. However, Zero Mass Water solar hydropanels are an innovative option that can further support the efforts to provide clean water to dry regions, as well as in emergency situations. It also provides an independent source of drinking water.

Curious Fact: Calculations show that, when averaged out over the life of the unit, a liter of water produced using Zero Mass Water’s SOURCE device costs between $0.12 and $0.30.

New rooftop solar hydropanels harvest drinking water and energy at the same time

View Slideshow Sunlight + Air = Water. It’s a befuddling equation, but it’s at the heart of a new solar hydropanel developed by Arizona-based startup Zero Mass Water. The company’s SOURCE panels can be installed atop any building just like standard photovoltaics, but instead of just harvesting solar energy, they use the sun’s rays to pull water from the air.