The SAWER containerized unit for extracting water from dry air in a hot desert environment was put into operation in August 2019 at a camel farm near the city of Sweihan in the United Arab Emirates. The team of the University Center for Energy-Efficient Buildings and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of CTU faced operational problems from the beginning, but they managed to solve them gradually.
The problems with the operation of the system were caused by a defective inverter, which had to be replaced with a new one at the end of September. Since then, SAWER has been working without functional problems. Concerns about overheating of the container and a negative effect on battery storage and other electronics were not confirmed. The UCEEB team has the entire facility under online real-time supervision, including the amount of water being taken on site. Therefore, it can monitor operations and gradually optimize control strategies to increase efficiency and ensure production consistently above 100 liters per day.
Currently, the system produces between 75 and 110 liters of water per day, the fluctuation is mainly caused by the low efficiency of the use of night cooling (night radiation against the sky) and insufficient thermal use of solar energy by solar collectors that have not yet been evacuated. From the gradual evaluation of the operation, UCEEB researchers obtain very valuable information for the improvement and simplification of other units. At the same time as the analysis of the operation, a sorption unit of the SAWER system was designed and put into production, intended for placement in the Czech pavilion at the exhibition site EXPO 2020.
How SAWER actually works, what scientists had to overcome during its development and what its future potential is, you can find out on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 19:00 in Science Café v Kladně?.