January 12, 2020

Panels that pull water out of thin air could address shortage issues

A startup called Zero Mass Water makes panels that extract water out of thin air.

Zero Mass Water

Last week at CES, the startup Zero Mass Water introduced a water-as-a-service model that could sustainably quench the thirst of communities where water is scarce or unsafe.

Make it rain… or something like that

In the US, some 2m people don’t have running water. Problems with access and potability are so pervasive that some investors have started snapping up water rights.

In 2017, Zero Mass Water introduced its Source Hydropanels, which use solar power to extract water from captured vapor. Hydropanels require no electricity or public utility infrastructure, meaning they can be installed anywhere in the world for an off-grid, sustainable solution.

Want a drink?

There are two business models:

  • Buying a Source Field — large Hydropanel arrays that can produce millions of gallons annually — gives the customer ownership of all water produced, whether it’s for a community or a business.
  • In a Water Purchase Agreement, customers contract to buy a set amount of water each month from a Source Field.

There’s also an option for people wanting to go the DIY route. Also at CES, Zero Mass Water introduced its new Source Rexi Hydropanel, a smaller version of the OG meant to mount onto roofs of homes, businesses, and schools. These retail for $2.5k.

Zero Mass Water won the 2019 Lemelson-MIT Prize, and has raised $65m in two funding rounds since 2017.

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