We won!

We’re honored to announce that All Power Labs is part of the winning team for the Water Abundance XPRIZE 2018. APL was the technical lead for the Skysource/Skywater Alliance team, and brought gasifier based power generation, plus a unique use of water vapor from biomass, to the larger problem of making atmospheric water generation machines truly usable in the world.

XPrize Water Abundance Winners on stage

The $1.5M award was announced at the XPRIZE Visioneering 2018 event in Los Angeles, October, 20, 2018, bringing to a conclusion a 2 year long competition involving 98 contending teams from 27 countries. The prize was launched in 2016 at the United Nations in New Delhi, with sponsorship by the Tata Group and Australian Aid. Both groups are continuing their involvement to ensure this innovation gets to market and doesn’t just stop with a flurry of press releases!

The competition has aimed to alleviate global water scarcity by accelerating technologies that harvest fresh water directly from air, with 10x improved economics and usability vs current atmospheric water harvesting tech. The Skysouce/Skywater/APL team won by delivering a novel biomass gasification based high-volume water generator that can be used in any climate, meeting the competition parameters of extracting a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100 percent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter.

The novelty of the Skysouce/Skywater/APL solution is the integration between the standard APL PP30 Cogen-CS power generation system, and the standard Skywater vapor compression cycle atmospheric water generation (AWG) machine. More specifically, we developed a biomass drying system placed between the two products, so that water vapor from the drying process can augment the humidity intake to the AWG machine. This enabled us to create an artificial high temp / high humidity environment for the AWG machine, meeting or exceeding the usual tropical conditions required for good AWG water yields. We did this while operating in the cold low water holding air of Berkeley, CA.

In practice, a standard AWG machine won’t really work in Berkeley late Fall air conditions. But we used “Berkeley air”, augmented with biomass, to exceed the high metrics of the competition and win against competitors working in the tropics!

All of us in the biomass powergen industry consider water in biomass a problem to get rid of. Though this contest, we discovered that it can, in fact, be a tremendous resource for co-production of potable water, while simultaneously delivering the usual electricity and sequestration of carbon through biochar. We realized that biomass is a major untapped water resource with global availability. It should be added to the list of water resources typically assumed: rivers, lakes, rain, wells, ocean, and air.

For a video summary of the competition, and some shots around APL while we were testing, see here for the XPRIZE produced video of the process.

Product Prototype: WEDEW Watertainer

Water container at Verge conference

Looking towards productization, we designed the components for the XPRIZE test rig to fit inside a standard 20′ shipping container. This container-based integration, with side wall openings for access, is the form factor we plan for ultimately bringing this Power, Water and Carbon Sequestration solution to market. The first containerized product prototype is shown above and below while being demonstrated as part of the microgrid at the Verge conference in Oakland in late October.

The WEDEW Watertainer uses the standard PP30 Cogen unit, with full utilization of its CHP features to enable the controlled drying process. All of our work on the XPRIZE project was enabled by the new CHP features of the Power Pallet: in this case applied to a highly controlled drying process for specific temp and humidity flow delivery to the AWG machine.

Development of this new product will continue over the coming Winter and Spring. We expect to start pilot projects in the later half of 2019. If you are interested in being an early customer, funder, or enabler of the first wave, please write us at: “sales@allpowerlabs.com”

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Open House: Friday, Nov 9th, 5-7pm

We will demonstrate the WEDEW Watertainer system at our next Open House, Friday, Nov 9th. We will not have the full container available (as it is currently in SoCal) but will have a second assembly with all major components operating outside at APL Berkeley.

Readouts in containerDavid in container

We invite you to join us and see more of the details of what we did to win this global technology contest.

The event is free. The food and drink are free. Please RSVP to our event page here to be part of the event and see part of our collective climate solution!

I hope to see you next week at APL

Jim Mason
All Power Labs
Founder, CEO

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