Photo credit: Eole Water

A wind turbine producing clean energy is nothing new; that technology has been around for a while now. But how about one that also harvests clean water right out of the air to make drinking water? Eole Water claims they have built such a turbine and that the nearly 79 foot tall prototype in Abu Dhabi in the UAE has been pulling 16.4 gallons of water per hour from the desert air since October 2011. The WMS1000 works like a typical wind turbine with three spinning blades producing electricity, but in order to also water, air is drawn through an “air blower” in the cone of the turbine. This air is directed through a cooling compressor which extracts humidity and condenses the moisture collected into liquid water, which is stored in a tank at the base of the turbine. The water then flows through a five level filter resulting in clean, safe drinking water.

Depending on humidity levels, the French company says that each turbine is capable of producing up to 264 gallons of water each day. That’s a lot of water that dry, rural cities, towns, and nations could surely put to good use. In speaking with CNN, Director of Marketing at Eole said “This technology could enable rural areas to become self-sufficient in terms of water supply.”

With over 1 billion people living without easy access to clean drinking water, a wind turbine which not only brings renewable energy to communities but also clean drinking water would be a lifesaver the world over. And while current costs of the turbines of between $660,000 and $790,000 (depending on installation needs) would make them cost-prohibitive to poorer nations, the price should come down if more affluent countries start ordering them for their own use.

Check out the Eole WaterWMS1000 Demonstration video below:

[via PopSci]