Zero Mass Water has launched its SOURCE hydropanel, which applies thermodynamics, materials science and controls technology to produce potable drinking water from only sunlight and air, in South Africa.

SOURCE is completely infrastructure-independent and is able to produce water without external electric or water input.

Zero Mass Water founder and CEO, materials scientist and Arizona State University associate professor Cody Friesen explained at the launch, in Johannesburg, that SOURCE uses an ultra-absorbent material that collects water from the air around it in even arid conditions.

On the digital side, SOURCE hydropanels are installed with a wireless communication system, through a second-generation connection, which reports data back to Zero Mass Water’s network operation centre.

Friesen claimed that each SOURCE hydropanel offsets, in its lifetime, 36 500 standard plastic water bottles, 273 750 of reverse osmosis water waste, and 7 110 of water wasted in the treatment, bottling and sanitation of bottled water.

Reverse osmosis wastes, on average, 15 for every 3.5 of drinking water filtered; bottled water emits carbon dioxide in the process of production and distribution, resulting in water wasted during filtration, and leaves behind plastic trash; and water coolers waste water in the process of filtration and delivery trucks result in pollution; all of which can effectively be replaced by SOURCE hydropanels.

Zero Mass Water has installed SOURCE hydropanels for schools in South America and Africa, as well as Syria, where refugees from war are often left without reasonable means to survive or prosper.