Sourcing clean water for seafarers has been a challenge for thousands of years. Even with the substantial clean water storage on board today’s ocean-going ships, it is the quality of the water that is an enduring problem.
Local bacteria, microbes and other contaminants present in drinking water supplied to ships can often lead to illness among seafarers.
With the advent of the plastic bottles during the last 40 years, the problem of water purity and supply was alleviated. However, now shipping is looking for more sustainable methods of supplying water and eliminating the use of plastic.
New technology from the Su-Nav Aeronero Innovation Centre in Chennai, India, is producing clean water from humidity and reduce the use of 6,000 plastic bottles per year per vessel.
Su-Nav, a ship management company, has rolled out the latest sustainable, green product from its laboratory which will provide thousands of seafarers with pure drinking water, free from harmful bacteria and eliminating the use of plastic bottles.
The water condenser machine, which has been installed on three vessels, is especially designed for marine applications by considering the adverse conditions, internal operations on board the vessel and the inability for servicing and maintenance.
The machine can generate 150 to 1,000 litres of pure drinking water per day. Since it uses the humidity to produce water, the marine environment provides optimum conditions for its use. The stainless-steel body also ensures longevity for use at sea and during long haul voyages.
“The seafarers with no other options are forced to consume water from tanks or plastic bottles received from different countries which results in various potentially harmful microbes in the gut. There is also the possibility of water contamination from fresh water being loaded into the tanks,” said Sachit Sahoonja, CEO of Su-Nav.
“The use of plastic is extremely harmful to the environment, so our Innovation Centre has produced a machine that is plastic free, sustainable and produces unlimited clean drinking water. We estimate that we can save tens of thousands of plastic water bottles per year across our growing fleet,” he added.
Durga Das, CEO of Aeronero & Head of Su-Nav Aeronero Innovation Centre said: “We intend to bring about several key innovations from our laboratory over the next few years. Water being an immediate challenge, we decided to address this as a priority, and we believe we will bring relief to all seafarers with this green technology.”
Dr. Kumar Loganathan and Jyotsna Kumar Co-Founders at Aeronero are the technologists behind Aeronero.
The technology is unique in its efficiency, capacity, cost, filtration system, minerals cartridges as well as the variation in the climate and geographic areas that it can be in. This is in addition to the designs, air conditioning, and customisation that can fit in any community.
The inspiration for Aeronero’s technology came from desert beetles, the scientists’ bio-mimicked the concept and developed the first prototype of the atmospheric water generator, that created water from humidity in the air.
In one of the driest places on earth in South Africa’s Namib Desert a remarkable insect called the ‘fogstand beetle’ is able to harvest water from the fog that drifts in over the arid landscape where rain is rare.
The beetle’s skin is covered with a mix of hydrophilic and hydrophobic bumps and valleys on its skin. These prevent moisture from being dispersed in the wind, when the moist condenses and became droplets, they roll down the beetle’s body and straight into its mouthparts. This behavior is charmingly known as “fog basking.” Source: atlasobcura.com (Jessica Leigh).