Almost every couple of months a new way of creating potable water for remote areas seems to be developed. Now there;s another idea which, not only creates drinkable water but also provides enough power to provide wireless internet access and charge electronic devices.
It's no surprise that there are many regions in the world without clean water, never mind access to the World Wide Web. However, one of the major benefits of these regions is the almost perpetual sunny conditions. To take advantage of the clear skies an Italian startup has developed a 15-ton thermal dynamic computer encased in solar panels with which to produce heat and power. Watly uses the power captured, by the photovoltaic cells to charge an internal 140 kwh battery which, as well as providing the energy to clean water, is also used to provide wireless internet access within an 800 meter radius and act as a charging station for electronic devices.
To clean contaminated water, Watly uses a patented graphene filter (possibly similar to this or this) before pumping it into the water tank where solar thermal energy is used to vaporize and further segregate any remaining contaminants. Through this process, it can provide 5,000 liters of clean drinkable water a day.
Beyond empowering remote African communities, Watly has been designed to be an entirely self-contained unit modular system, which uses no external power and therefore it can reduce CO2 emissions by 2,500 tons over its 15 year lifespan and also benefit the planet as a whole.
But Watly's plan goes far beyond simply providing clean water and power it hopes to install 10,000 units over the next eight years where it will create 50,000 jobs in the maintenance and construction of these machines and create new economic models for regions which desperately need investment.
As Watly founder Macro Attisani, says "There are going to be hundreds of companies developing technologies similar to Watly," he says. "This could create a new economic paradigm worldwide."