What Scottsdale, Arizona based, Zero Mass Water is all about is accessibility to water across the world. What’s the most abundant element found in nature? The sun. So why not convert the sun’s natural energy into drinkable water. That’s the mission and vision of ZMW, and of founder Cody Friesen.
Water scarcity is affecting close to 40% of the world’s population and Zero Mass Water is hoping to turn that statistic around. Using a combination of material sciences, solar energy and data processing, Cody is able to convert solar into drinking water. The technology absorbs the water vapour present naturally in the air to convert it into drinking water via various processes.
One of the biggest reasons why Zero Mass is set to become one of the biggest companies in the domain is because of their leaning towards tech. They’re not relying on water pipes or mass-grid systems to deliver water across the board.
They’re doing it at every home, every rooftop, and every corner so that you can get your water directly from the sun above your head. As it turns out, the water tastes much cleaner and is probably a lot healthier for you as well.
The photo-voltaic technology isn’t the only thing driving the solar to water processing. On the side of the solar panel are proprietary porous materials that generate heat. There’s another proprietary material inside the panel that absorbs the moisture from the air. The water goes through multiple natural processes as it forms inside the panels, which eventually collect inside a 30-liter water reservoir.
Where this technology excels, according to Cody is the ability to quickly install the solar panels and get the water processing started within a few hours. That’s why it’s such an affordable and scalable model for water generation. With a few million in funding, they’re set to revolutionize the world of water delivery systems.
What’s even more interesting is their approach to data. Zero Mass tracks every single solar panel that’s in the consumer domain right now so that it can deploy maintenance or repairs as and when needed. The data derived from the panels also helps a lot of the innovation in the company.
While each solar panel can produce up to 5 litres of water a day, humid areas will produce more than dry ones. This means that hot and humid places across the world may have greater benefits from this technology than some of the colder drier ones.
In a world where more than a million people die every year because of clean water scarcity, Zero Mass Water is providing a more scalable and dependable approach to fixing that problem. The challenges are numerous and multi-fold, but Cody is confident that this could become the technology of the future.
“You have water is better than the top-quality brands in the world, and yet, you own it at your home” – Cody
What’s the output to cost on a solar panel? A two set of panels will cost around $4000 with installation charges and give you 10-12 liters of water a day.
“Those 2 panels are producing up to 10 litres per day, between them. Inside every SOURCE panel is a 30-litre reservoir where the water is mineralized and stored until it is ready for use.” – Cody
While detractors of the technology may state that it’s more scalable to conserve water than to extract it from air, Cody is resilient in his approach. He wants to make it so that everyone on the planet can have access to clean drinking water anytime.
This technology is especially beneficial in times of hurricane disasters and storms. While traditional pipelines and grids can take months to install, a solar panel can be transported and installed within days. The panel works instantaneously, and the water goes through a rigorous filtration process to ensure water pH balance.
The actual panel and setup is called SOURCE and it’s been one of the most revolutionary innovations in the water purification industry. The technology has the capability of reducing carbon footprint, making water more accessible and providing long standing reach to remote corners of the country. It could actually impact the economy of a country if it provided cleaner water through abundant solar energy.
In fact, SOURCE is probably the world’s first and only hydro-panel operating at this scale. It’s creating a new category of perfected water, according to Cody, and is creating limitless opportunities for health and wellness optimization. The technology is far beyond what we’re seeing in the marketplace right now.
The impact to communities, governments and environmental bodies is monumental, making everyone in the media excited about it. The technology itself has attracted many TV spots and newspaper articles about it’s innovative approach. Since Cody is planning on taking it B2C, he needs the product to be out there as much as possible.
One of their main challenges is price, and it’s important to make customers less price-sensitive when they’re thinking about long-term water production. Typically, whenever a sweeping innovation is introduced in the market, it only takes over when the price is only slightly higher than the alternative. Water is essentially free, and water bills are far away from the $4000 installation costs.
There’s also the question of trust. American consumers don’t really know if the quality of the water is pure. There’s also the mistrust of the air quality in the environment, as well as the actual extraction and purification process. That’s another major challenge they have to overcome. Since water is an essential component of our daily lives, ZMW will have to be that lifestyle eco-friendly brand appealing to conscious consumers.
While the technology itself is revolutionary and thought-provoking, the cost of the panel and installation will remain expensive. Until there is mass adoption, the cost won’t come down. Therefore, while the technology might work perfectly the question will still remain about whether Americans from across borders will want to install it in their homes.
Cody wants solar water to become a normal thing, just like how people talk about solar electricity. That’s the long-term vision of this innovative founder. Silicon Valley may want their hands on this device right away, but for the rest of the country the product still needs to have a stronger appeal.