Conjuring Water from Thin Air is India’s Next Big Thing

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An Indian start-up is hoping to turn the moisture in the air into water and help tackle scarcity issues across the country.

Uravu, meaning source in Malayalam, is the Hyderabad firm that is taking technology to the next level in helping to turn atmospheric moisture into usable water.

The tech is already being used for industrial purposes, but Uravu’s five co-founders have refined the process.

Now, it is using a water-absorbing material that takes vapour from the air and uses solar thermal energy to convert it to water.

But the innovation is smarter and cheaper to run than the existing refrigeration-based systems as there’s no electricity needed.

“What we wanted to do was to have a simple modular device.” “It is a passive device that you can leave on your rooftop and it will generate water. The process starts at night, and by evening next day you’ll have water,” commented co-founder Swapnil Shrivastav.

The team first produced a concept to assess its strengths and weaknesses and then began targeting potential customers.

The system involves hygroscopic material that absorbs and stores water vapour from the air and a solar collector that heats the vapour, which then gets converted into water once it cools.

An innovative ‘aquapanel’ designed by Uravu to convert thin air into water. Credit: Uravu

The material collects water vapour at night and is heated after sunrise, leading to the production of water.

The water is then piped into the house, and with a mineral filter can even be used for drinking.

The aqua panel, or solar collector, generates around 50 litres of water a day, but Uravu is aiming for 2,000 litres a day by June this year,

To hit the commercial homerun, the firm has to work on a few things, assuring customers the water quality is good and working on an efficient model that generates water for a lot less than is available on the market.

Shrivastav said one aim was to use the device in areas where water is scarce, such as in rural areas.

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