By Prarthana Mitra
Chennai-based Swelect Energy Systems has come up with a potential solution for India’s drinking water crisis with an eco-friendly mechanism to produce water. Using their new hydro-solar panel “Source,” the environmental tech firm in partnership with United States-based Zero Mass Water hopes to channel solar energy to provide pure drinking water.
Source works on solar photovoltaic cells, material science, and other cutting-edge technologies, which can work out at ground level or altitude, as a standalone project. It neither requires electricity to work nor a lot of time to install, thus offering an affordable and eco-friendly option. According to top officials, it also tastes better than bottled water.
Channeling the sun and air
Swelect’s Managing Director , R. Chellappan, told The Hindu, “By using hydropanels, we are eliminating plastic and water waste of bottled and filtered water.”
Rotating turbines absorb the water vapour in the air, which is then collected, condensed and passed into a reservoir, where the resultant water is mineralised with magnesium and calcium. After a polishing treatment, the water is delivered to a dispenser which lowers the total cost of ownership considerably, as compared to bottled mineral water.
Each panel priced is priced at Rs 2 lakh and is very cost-effective given its capacity and durability. Source panels can generate up to five litres of water per day depending on humidity and sunlight and can last for about 15 years, said Chellappan. Two panels can take care of the water needs of four people, he told Times of India. Besides, there is also a storing facility underneath a panel that can store 30 litres of water.
The potential and reach
Robert Bartrop, executive vice-president of Zero Mass Water, talked to The Hindu about the scalability of the project, saying, “[…]we can do one panel per home to 100 panels for a village.” This means it can be availed by primary health centres, schools, large villas, resorts and water-starved places. Swelect also plans to sell Source panels to government-run programmes on water, retail and institutional markets.
“The company has global customers in 15 countries, including the US and Australia, and the panels will be made exclusively available in south India through Swelect,” Bartrop added.
“Solar is beyond photovoltaic and thermal, it has now forayed into water production,” acknowledged Chellappan, now standing atop an endless reserve of drinking water and the means to channel it. Swelect’s Source hydro panels may be the world’s eco-friendliest mechanism to manufacture drinking water from the sun and the air.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius