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Finalists of Water Abundance XPRIZE competition announced

Finalists of Water Abundance XPRIZE competition announced

The Water Abundance XPRIZE is a $1.75 million competition, challenging teams to alleviate the global water crisis with energy-efficient technologies that harvest fresh water from thin air. They have recently announced the finalists who revolutionizes access to fresh water by creating a device that extracts a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100% renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter.

The Water Abundance XPRIZE creates decentralized access to water, giving people the power to access fresh water, whenever and wherever they need it. The requirements for the program are steep enough to sound almost like fiction: the device must extract “a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100 percent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter.”

For a million bucks, people will try anything. But only five teams have made it to the finals, taking equal shares of a $250,000 ‘milestone prize’ to further their work. There isn’t a lot of technical info on them yet, but here they are, in alphabetical order:

Hydro Harvest:

This Australian team based out of the University of Newcastle is ‘going back to basics’, probably smart if you want to keep costs down. The team has worked together before on an emission-free engine that turns waste heat into electricity.

JMCC Wing:

This Hawaiian team’s leader has been working on solar and wind power for many years, so it’s no surprise their solution involves the “marriage” of a super-high-efficiency, scalable wind energy harvester with a commercial water condenser. The bigger the generator, the cheaper the energy.

Skydra: Very little information is available for this team, except that they have created ‘a hybrid solution that utilizes both natural and engineered systems’.

The Veragon & Thinair:

Alphabetically this collaboration comes on both sides of U, but I’m putting it here. U.K. collaboration has developed a material that “rapidly enhances the process of water condensation,” and are planning not only to produce fresh water but also to pack it with minerals.

Uravu:

Out of Hyderabad in India, this team is also going back to basics with a solar-powered solution that doesn’t appear to actually use solar cells — the rays of the sun and design of the device do it all. The water probably comes out pretty warm, though.

The first round of testing took place in January, and round 2 comes in July, at which point the teams’ business plans are also due. In August there should be an announcement of the $1 million grand prize winner. Good luck to all involved and regardless of who takes home the prize, here’s hoping this tech gets deployed to good purpose where it’s needed.

Credits: https://techcrunch.com//03/22/water-abundance-xprize-finalists-compete-in-gathering-water-from-thin-air/

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