(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) A revolutionary new wind turbine that converts humidity from thin desert air into 1,000 litres of drinkable fresh water daily could help the UAE stave off severe water shortages in years to come, the UAE daily (Gulf News) has learnt.
Eole Water, based in Sainte Tulle in the south of France, is already laying the groundwork to introduce the radical new turbines across the emirates pending the outcome of field trials now under way near Abu Dhabi.
Thibault Janin, marketing and communications director of Eole Water, said in an exclusive interview with the Gulf News that after initial meetings with senior federal officials, it is subjecting its wind turbine model WMS1000 to gruelling desert conditions.
"Eole Water has conducted tests on drinking water production at Mussafah since November 2011," said Janin. "This phase aims to demonstrate the performance of the technology in operation in difficult weather conditions."
Test results show the turbine producing "on average, 62 litres of water per hour with an average humidity rate of 45 per cent and an average temperature of 24C. The water production depends on wind speed, temperatures and of course humidity rate," he said.
The company spent Dh10.08 million in 2010 to finance the new turbine technology developed by 30 engineers in and out of the company.
The field trials suggest the engineering team has produced a machine capable of withstanding sandstorms and sweltering heat that can reach 50C in remote desert villages where water is hard to come by.
Janin said that the "WMS1000 features automatic sandstorm protection shutters and a humidity condenser with a particular alloy. Therefore, Abu Dhabi was the right place to test those components and prove that the technology can work in sandy environments. After six months of testing, we can say, it works."
Confirmed test results have convinced Eole officials that the UAE is the launch pad from which to spread the wind turbine to other arid countries around the globe.
"We do not have any offices in UAE for now," Janin said, "but if the government trusts in our technology, we could expect to open a factory and office shortly in UAE. The Eole Water short term objective is to implement the first wind turbine in the UAE, as we were testing the reliability of our device on the ground for now. This wind turbine implementation in UAE will be used in order to promote technology throughout the world. We are in talks with countries like Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia or Bahrain."
The technology was conceived by Eole Water company founder Marc Parent who came up with the idea after discovering he was out of water and electricity while living on a remote Caribbean island.
"He worked on the coupling between an A/C and a small wind turbine," Janin said. "He succeeded in solving his problem by collecting water from humidity. His work was at the origin of Eole Water foundation in 2008."
From a rattling lone air conditioner, the technology has come a long way today's Eole wind turbines are massive.
"Our turbine is 30 metres high and has a weight of 12 tonnes. The nacelle is six metres long and has a diameter of two metres. You could walk inside. The rotor diameter is 13 meters. We can easily expect that the size will evolve depending on the industrial process improvement," Janin said.