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These Solar Panels Create Drinking Water from the Sun and Air

Kelsey Davis, Manager, Digital Media, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Zero Mass Water is on a mission to democratize water for everyone. This Consumer Technology Association (CTA) member has developed technology that uses solar panels, the air and the sun to help make access to drinking water simpler than ever.

We had a chance to speak with the Zero Mass Water team about their mission, their technology and where they are going next.

Tell us a little about how Zero Mass Water first started.

Zero Mass Water was founded to fundamentally transform how people access drinking water. Founded by Dr. Cody Friesen and his world-class team, Zero Mass Water began by asking: how do you leapfrog infrastructure and enable true ownership over drinking water? From this mission, SOURCE was designed. A solar panel that makes drinking water out of sun and air alone, SOURCE water is readily available for households in diverse climates. 

Installed all over the world, SOURCE is enabling families, business and schools to have drinking water peace of mind without the inconvenience of regular purchase or filtration. From luxury applications — ranging from Scottsdale to Oakland — to impact applications —, ranging from Mexico City to Manila — SOURCE is perfecting drinking water.

What problem were you trying to solve when you first created your technology?

There hasn't been a good choice for drinking water. Bottled water is expensive, inconvenient and wasteful. Filtration is dependent on aging infrastructure and wasteful and requires significant maintenance. Here in the United States where we have universal water coverage, families, schools and businesses struggle to find a supply of quality drinking water that seamlessly fits into their lifestyles. 

Fully off-grid, SOURCE enables several world firsts: water ownership as simple as from your roof to your tap, a renewable water supply free from negative impacts of aging infrastructure and reliable drinking water that works even in extremely low-humidity locations. 

How does the technology work?

SOURCE adsorbs water vapor from the atmosphere into specially engineered materials. The panel then uses sunlight to release and concentrate the water vapor so that condensation occurs under ambient conditions, resulting in water that is very pure, similar to distilled water. SOURCE then mineralizes the water for taste and health before delivering it to a tap. The advanced technology that SOURCE represents is a true world-first, incorporating sophisticated materials science, advanced solar thermal technology, an elegant architecture that leverages the thermodynamics of water vapor, and a microprocessor that integrates a handful of sensors and solves a multidimensional problem every second of every day to maximize water production based on environmental conditions.

The Zero Mass Water research and development and engineering teams are made up of some of the top scientists and engineers in each of these disciplines, allowing the company to arrive at a game-changing technology.

What is next for Zero Mass Water?

We are on a mission to democratize water for everyone. Families all over the world depend on bottled water or household filtration to ensure safety and taste and the efforts required to secure this resource are outstanding. Recent polls show that two in three Americans believes their drinking water supply is at risk. As a solution to the water crisis here in the U.S. and abroad, SOURCE is finally giving people a water choice they can feel good about drinking. 

Zero Mass Water is deploying SOURCE in the U.S. and worldwide to make sure that everyone, everywhere can own their renewable drinking water. 

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