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DIY Atmospheric Drinking Water Generator

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Atmospheric Water Generator

Introduction
I can't drink the water supplied from our city,  and the atmospheric Water generators out there cost more than many can afford.  So I made one for a little over $300.  That is one sixth the price of a lowest costing unit sold online.

Parts
1 - New Dehumidifier (this brand is Kolin) $225
1 - New Extreme Water Filter system (hardware or Home shops) $25
1 - 32" piece of clear vinyl tubing (found at Aquarium shops) $3
1 - Servo Voltage Regulator (in case of power fluctuations) $75
2 - 4"X9" 3M scrubber pads $2
1 - Zip tie 10cents

Tools
3/4 inch drill with a 1/2 inch drill bit
Philip Screwdriver
Scissors

Instructions
1) Remove all covers to your new dehumidifier. Rinse inside out thoroughly with garden hose don't use high pressure it will damage condenser flanges. dry completely before using.
2) Remove knock out for hose on back cover
3) Run clear vinyl tube through knock out and attach to hose connector inside the Dehumidifier (this will by pass the
internal one gallon reservoir )
4) Cut the 3M scrubber pads to fit air filter holder on front of machine for air filter (original filter does not trap a lot
of dust) attach filter holder to front panel.
5) Wash water filter Unit and filter before use. This unit has a 1 micron ceramic filter in top and a five stage filter in
the bottom.
6) Drill hole in top of filter unit and run vinyl tubing into the filter. Be sure not to crimp hose. Place top on filter
unit.
7) Plug unit into servo regulator and you are ready to make water from the air.

Turn on machine run for 6-8 hours depending on humidity levels to fill upper filter area.
Allow water to filter into the lower storage area.
Water comes out Neutral at 7.0 pH after filters it will be around 7.4-8.0 depending on what type of mineralization filters you used
chesterjohn (author) 1 year ago
I have addd the Berky PF-4 metals filter and this unit is making tasty water. and at 100% humidity I am getting 15 gals a day.

how many gallons are you getting per day????

ThirstyBloke7 months ago
After a ton of searching, all the dehumidifiers I have found that will work in the U.S. have aluminum and/or copper evaporator coils.

A possible solution is a new spray-on glass coating from German company Nanopool called BACTERLON. Supposedly, it will render the coated surfaces inert, as if they were solid glass. Here are some links for more info:
http://bacterlon.eu/en/
http://www.ecocorpasia.com/products/nanopool.html
http://www.ecocorpasia.com/products/nanopool/the-science-2.html
http://www.nanopool.eu/en/
http://phys.org/news184310039.html
http://www.siotec.ch (German language)

Bacterlon might not be available yet for consumer purchase, or it might be sold under a different name. If anyone finds it, please add a comment on this blog page.

I suspect that most of the ready-made Atmospheric Water Generators also have aluminum/copper coils, sometimes coated with a "food-grade" coating.  As far as I know, the only ready-made system to use stainless steel is the countertop unit from Korean company ATW (www.atwtec.com, formerly known as Dong Yang) that is sold under several brand names, such as Dewpointe and AquaBoy.

There is a lot of info on ready-made units at these sites:
http://heidiallen.com/heartfire/water.htm
http://www.atmoswater.com/manufacturers-and-suppliers-of-atmospheric-water-generators--water-from-air-machines.html

Any opinions on the safety of copper coils vs aluminum?

The Kolin dehumidifiers from the Philippines appear to be 220V, but maybe the voltage could be modified:
http://hallohallomall.com/kolin-phil./kdm-18-dehumidifier/index.html
http://www.kolinphil.com.ph/products/aircoolers.htm

Kolin has more than one model, so if you get one, make sure it uses stainless steel.
ThirstyBloke7 months ago
Anyone in the USA have luck finding a dehumidifier with Stainless Steel parts?

chesterjohn,
Thanks for the article. This is the way to go. The ready-made systems are too expensive and unreliable, and they keep going out of business, so good luck finding those proprietary filters you need every 3-6 months.

The only trouble with your system is finding a good dehumidifier. Or else figuring out how to modify one or build one.

Has anyone done this with a Berkey filter? That is where I am leaning.
chesterjohn (author)  ThirstyBloke7 months ago
thank you.

The Berky metals filter will help to filter the water of residual metals from any type of dehumidifier. And because the residuals will be minute that the Berky filter will last longer than expected.

The colloidal silver filter encased in ceramic is from Australia and can be ordered online. I am sure you can find one in the US>

I don't have an image of mine with the Berky filter in it but I have it in the storage area and the other on top where the water comes in.

Using these you should be able to get good results. finding the right dehumidifier would be a challenge. You could order this type from the Philippines or find a dealer in the US that could get you one.

I have moved back to the states and am looking to make one myself. so I will keep you up to date on how that one works. Please let us know how your search goes.
Debra19678 months ago
Is there any product (AWG) out there which I can connect the entire houses water supply? For things like cleaning, washing or showering.
Or are these Atmospheric water generators only for producing drinking water? If there is no existing product, is there a way I can attach one of these industrial or higher performing ones and connect them myself? Read more here
chesterjohn (author)  Debra19677 months ago
Maybe all you need is to collect rain water, check its acidity and adjust it accordingly to make it fully neutral. Rain water is easy on pipes and when you bathe ad wash clothes
chesterjohn (author)  Debra19678 months ago
most are made for drinking only. But if you live in a humid area year round you could find a commercial dehumidifier or an air-conditioning and run it to your water supply tank to fill it. But you would more than likely use the water faster than you could fill it.
germeten1 year ago
One form of filter used in poorer countries is clay pot with 30 mesh sawdust added for proper micron porosity, see Potters for Peace dot org; I treat lake-water with colloidal silver & DIY ozonater, but I like your dehumidifier idea of extracting it from the air. There are even more efficient, patented systems used by NASA, employing compressors that force air into chambers bearing sponges and drain valves. The compressed air acts like a spring, returning piston back to go, so uses little energy over-all. Think: car engine with stainless cylinder inserts and/or teflon piston, o-rings, etc.
chesterjohn (author)  germeten1 year ago
wow great idea. but sounds expensive to make but great that it takes less electricity.
chesterjohn you said there is a type of solar cell you can make from copper sheet and aluminum that when place in the sun will generate enough current to run it during the day. Can you please give some more details on that?
chesterjohn (author)  gravityisweak1 year ago
OK I was looking around for the solar panel package I had in an ebook but I may have lost it when my portable drive went down. I found it by searching for do it yourself solar panels most were silkscreen ones but one had a copper sheet type. I will tell you the larger those copper sheet ones are the more dangerous as they generate a lot of current so don't be touching it when you expose it to the sun. when you find the process by searching as I did. you can make small ones for lamps and go larger from there. always keep it covers until you have it all wired in or it can kill you it will generate many amps very fast. I will try and post the name of the sight I found it on when I find it.
dany1001 year ago
Dear chesterjohn,

I would like to get your contact details if you don't mind.

Regards,
Ms.Dany Bita
bucuresti56@gmail.com
atmoswater1 year ago
Just a note about water quality testing---if you plan to drink the water from your machine over the long term I would recommend an annual comprehensive potable water test including conventional parameters, total metals analysis, dissolved metals analysis, and microbiological analysis. I did such a test with a similar dehumidifier-water treatment system and found dissolved fluoride was 2.1 mg/L which is higher than the maximum acceptable concentration of 1.5 mg/L. The fluoride was likely coming from the aluminum evaporator coil of my dehumidifier. The Kolin dehumidifer may be fine but testing will verify that the product water meets water quality standards.

Bacteria growth in the system (bacteria are always present in the air processed by the system) can be controlled by weekly cleaning of the system components.

I have a website dedicated to providing accurate scientific knowledge about water-from-air systems. You are welcome to visit www.atmoswater.com
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater1 year ago
Atmos,

So how many PPM's per gallon would 1.5 mg/l equal?
1.5 mg/L = 1.5 ppm

Please see unit conversion examples at http://www.ausetute.com.au/partspm.html

One would simply say "ppm". The phrase "ppm per gallon" is invalid. You could use units of grain/gallon (US) if you wish. To convert a unit from milligram per liter (mg / L) to grain per gallon (U.S.) (gr / gal) ., multiply by 0.058417834731272 [source: http://metricsystemconversion.info/grain-per-gallon-U.S.-gr-gal-.-to-milligram-per-liter-mg-L.html?func=detail]
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater1 year ago
That works out perfect then

As a precaution I bought a Berkey PF-4 Reduction Element. which under testing based on 20-30ppm (2.0-3.0mg/L) reduced fluoride by 95% and in some cases 99%.

Lead is reduced by 99%

Also it absorbs heavy metal Ions if there be any.

So the Addition of the Berkey PF-4 would eliminate any harmful metals from this Atmospheric Water Generator is well worth the investment.

Currently the water being produced after the PF-4 has a 7.0pH completely neutral. A mineralization filter put in the bottom of this unit will increase the pH to 7.4.
If you're looking for the purest water possible after extracting it from the atmosphere, you could either Ozonate the water, that'll kill all virus, bacteria, fungi, and should neutralize heavy metals & other nasties. You could also get a bit more tricky and runs some electric leads into your gathered water and generate some HHO(Browns Gas/Oxyhydrogen), burn that, which recombines into PURE molecular, unadulterated water. And of course you can then pull heat from the HHO burn and generate steam/hot water/energy(which then can be rerouted to power the AWG), etc. Hope that helps.
chesterjohn (author)  MindbenderMike1 year ago
interesting idea. food for thought that is for sure. I have a multi stage filter for tap water and I have the AWG. the water from the AWG is so much more refreshing to drink. What process of Ozonation were you thinking? I know if you steam water and expose the steam to a strong UV it converts the steam to Ozone. then you cool the steam down through distillation and you get a pure water with traces of Hydrogen Peroxide. This happens in nature in the upper atmosphere as the evaporated water gets to the Upper atmosphere it is exposed to high UV and creates our Ozone layer. Good points you got there
Well, I could get all conspiratorial and connect the dots, showing how Ozone production, Tesla, cures for cancer, free energy, anti gravity, transmutation and other oddities were all suppressed about a century ago by the industrial elite, buttt, I'll just say:
Google "Medical Ozone Generator" "Water Ozonater" "Ozonated Olive Oil" & "Ozone Therapy"...and there's now even HHO geneators that turn the Oxygen into Ozone and then use the Hydrogen for fuel supplementation.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater1 year ago
I did want to ask a question as your concern was one of mine when I first was looking for a dehumidifier.

would not the fluoride cause the water to have a higher than normal pH?

Keeping the unit clean if true for any water filter and storage system. I am wanting to place a UV light in the storage unit that also helps with killing bacteria.
Because pH is related to the hydronium ion concentration, [H3O+], in the water the presence of fluoride anions, [F-], should not affect the pH.

A couple of useful references about using UV in small water systems such as water coolers are:

- http://www.watertechonline.com/disinfection/article/water-temperature-and-uv-systems-0407

- http://www.watertechonline.com/disinfection/article/cooler-sanitizing-%E2%80%94-with-o3-uv-h2o2-or-chlorine
The addition of fluoride anions decreases pH.

[F-] + [H30+] -> HF + H2O

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation
chesterjohn (author)  burntferret1 year ago
the water directly from the generator has a 7.0pH.
Thanks for the correction to my chemical analysis. Theoretically, you seem to be correct but the paper, Can Fluoridation Affect Water Lead(II) Levels and Lead(II) Neurotoxicity?, at http://www.fluoridealert.org/urbansky.pdf, in section 5 has an explanation about the buffer capacity of a solution such as water. The practical net result is that adding fluoride to water has no measurable effect on the pH. It is interesting how complex things can get!
chesterjohn (author)  burntferret1 year ago
so you are saying that fluoride makes water acidic?

I am glad the unit I have used Stainless Steel on it condensing coils. Salty air from off the sea eats up aluminum that is why this one is made with stainless steel.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater1 year ago
Atmos,

Thanks for those links. It is important for people to know how to keep their drinking water storage area clean and bacterial free.

that would even go for inline reverse osmosis filters as well. Cleaning filter cartridges and holders are a must for healthy drinking water.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater1 year ago
Great Article on the UV. My lamp is much Higher than the ones you have in your study and it is a lamp designed to be in the water placing it correctly is important,

Our water temp never drops below 60f or above 70f. We are in a warm tropical country even our air temperature when it is cold it is 76f but as high as 98f.

Our humidity levels on an average are between 86%-100%. During our dry season our humidity level is 79%-89%.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater1 year ago
What I liked about the Kolin unit it that it uses Stainless Steel condensing coil not aluminum. It is made for Island and seaside use where there is high salt in the air. If they used aluminum it would corrode easily and quickly.

The Micron 1 ceramic filter keeps bacteria and airborne contaminates out of the drinking water.

Bacteria was and is the problem with the municipal water here. and the bottled water companies are not regulated and tested by the Local health dept.

Thanks for your link. I am looking into some strips to check dissolved metals they are not available here. I didn't want to buy a 100 strips bottle yet.
chesterjohn (author) 1 year ago
Hi everyone,

I added a Solar trickle charger to an 12V battery and along with a 1500 watt inverter the machine runs great and the battery life is around 4 hours.

With a high humidity as we have been having here lately 99% it produces 6 liters. I let the batter recharge and I am ready to refill every two days.

Larger solar system will work best with a battery cell array.

I am still searching for on/off sensors. I can run it on a timer which will cut power at a set time.
chesterjohn (author) 1 year ago
For those who are leery or can't get a unit made with stainless here is a suggestion use a Berkey PF-4 fluoride / metal absorbent filter before the mineralization filter. the cost for this filter is around $28 each.

For every problem there is always a solution
blodefood1 year ago
I note from emptying several' dehumidifiers in various houses during the summer, the output can be higher than 3 or 4 L a day. This would be enough for two people should it be potable.

I'm not sure I would feel confident drinking it without proper filtration and cleaning. However, I would have no hesitation pouring the water from dehumidifiers into the clothes washer instead of pouring it down the sink.
chesterjohn (author)  blodefood1 year ago
this unit was bought new for the soul purpose to generate drinking water. It is filtered and it is potable. this unit is rated for 18L a day but has produced 20L as I use it.

I keep the unit and units clean this is important.
ironsmiter1 year ago
Any plans to add a float or sensor, to automatically run/shutoff the condenser based on a full/empty top reservoir? (something like auto-shutoff when top reservoir is full. auto-run when finished water reservoir is half empty?)
All of the water, non of the hassle :-)
chesterjohn (author)  ironsmiter1 year ago
there is a built in sensor for the internal reservoir. there might be a way to do that by taking it from the humidifier and putting it is the filter.

I will consider that and look into it.

I never thought about setting up to be automatic
Sensors are simple to rig. Optical sensor, externally mounted make no contact with the water... no need for a float. Clean and simple.
l8nite1 year ago
thats really neat, now if you could set up a solar power station you could get totally FREE water
chesterjohn (author)  l8nite1 year ago
It would not be hard to do just a solar panel, a storage cell (battery), and inverter and you are good to go.

I run it at night when the dew is the highest level and can make over 20L in 24hours even though the unit says it is registered for 18L in 24 hours.

But if you run during the day there is a type of solar cell you can make from copper sheet and aluminum that when place in the sun will generate enough current to run it during the day. you will have to test your solar cell and invert from there. With this type no sun no power.

Always remember if you make one buy a unit that used Stainless steel for the condensing unit because Aluminum is not to healthy.

chesterjohn (author) 1 year ago
I am hoping to update this Instructable with a UV feature.

If you will look at the Photo you will notice a small red rubber stopper on the top of the Filter Unit. I had a UV lamp there. However it affected the ceramic filter.

I wanted to put it in the filter storage area but then I don't know how it will affect those filters. My Idea is to add a final storage area that contain no filters and place it there.