How Zero Mass is using solar panels to pull drinkable water directly from the air
In the second season of the Verge video series Next Level, senior editor Lauren Goode takes you behind the scenes to show you the technology that’s being worked on at some of the world’s most innovative companies and research institutions.
Because that’s what Zero Mass does: harvest drinking water out of thin air, using a combination of materials science, solar power, and predictive data.
It was first developed at Arizona State University, where Friesen was teaching engineering and materials science.
At the highest level, Zero Mass “take[s] sunlight and air and we produce water,” Friesen said, as he showed me the Source panels.
Another proprietary material inside the panel absorbs the moisture from the air.
At that point the condensed water ends up in a 30-liter reservoir under the panel.
“Everybody who drinks water has to make sure that water is healthful and available, right?
We did visit the home of one Source user who lives not far from Zero Mass’s headquarters, and chatted with him outside of his home about his experience with Source; but found out that he, like many other early testers, was considered a friend of the company.
But the company’s goal of making Source available to everyone, everywhere, is an ambitious one.
He said that harvesting water from the air is certainly a viable option – in fact, his Berkeley colleagues have been working on a metal-organic framework that also absorbs water from the air.