About our Technology
What does HDH stand for?
HDH stands for humidification – Dehumidification of air.
How long HDH processes have been in operation?
HDH is a water distillation process and it was discovered in the XIX century. Its usage with solar energy began with the well-known Solar Still, but this is a very energy inefficient technology. Later developments optimized how the air and water flows interact, as a way to make the process more efficient, thus reducing the required solar absorption area.
Is there an easy way to explain HDH processes?
Sure there is. Imagine you are taking a hot shower with the bathroom door shut. When you get out of the shower you see that the air has a steam cloud floating in the bathroom. You also notice the bathroom mirror has a film of water (that you usually have to wipe-out to see yourself in the mirror). The steam floating in the air is called humidification and the water film in the mirror is commonly called condensation (but is technically dehumidification of that steam floating there). We do exactly that the same process, just in a more efficient manner. You can read more of it here.
Why HDH is the best alternative to treat water on a decentralized scale in remote regions?
HDH is a water treatment passive process, therefore it is not energy-intensive and can be easily adapted to a fully autonomous operation with a photovoltaic (PV) array. Also, it doesn’t require any sort of chemical supply and the skills required to operate it are common. Another advantage is that passive processes don’t change considerably the salts concentration of the rejected water, thus it doesn’t require post-treatment to meet environmental regulations as you do with Reverse Osmosis.
In cold climates, the HDH process can be used with cogeneration schemes adapting the exhaust of a boiler or other types of space heating machinery, in combination with solar energy taking advantage of all energy sources available at the place.
What is Potabilis?
Potabilis is the name of our drinkable water technology based on HDH processes.
What does Potabilis mean?
Potabilis means drinkable in Latin. It is a way for us to honor our ancestors.
What is your main advantage with the Potabilis technology?
We are focusing on simplicity and back to the analog era. Although simplicity is hard to achieve, we are aiming to do so by using mostly on-off operations, one turn on-off button, few moving parts as possible, with minimal instrumentation. With this, the skill-level required to operate is met by almost everyone. The spare parts can be purchase in any hardware store and best of all, the remote community can embrace the technology. You can read more here.
When was the Potabilis technology conceptualized?
We started working on Potabilis at the beginning of 2019, as part of a research and development branch of RGA Engineering International, our CEO’s international EPC consultancy firm.
Do you use solar energy in Potabilis plants?
Yes, we do. But we use solar thermal energy instead of photovoltaic (PV). This is because we need to raise water temperature and the efficient way to do it is by using flat plate solar collectors. They capture the Sun’s energy and transferred directly into the water flow.
We only use PV when we want to make Potabilis autonomous, where there is a faulty electrical system.
Are there any social factors involved with Potabilis usage?
Potabilis technology is designed completely to meet needs, so they can be empowered by it and consider it as a core part of their well being. But to achieve empowerment and sustainable livelihoods means you need to meet 3 criteria: easy-to-use technology (done), financial sustainability, and social capacity building. You can read more here.
How long does it take to produce 1 liter of drinkable water?
The process starts slowly while the air and water flows get the right conditions. For Potabilis S1, after the start, it can take approximately 2 hours to produce 1 Liter of drinkable water (depending on solar resource). After we get into a continuous operation, it can produce it in 45 minutes. Our goal is to keep improving and shorting that timeframe.
Are there more HDH plants available in the market?
We have only seen HDH on academic researches. Although some companies promote them on their websites, they don’t show any work-site or plants in operation.
Potabilis technology does it work as an Ambient Water Generators (AWG)?
No. Potabilis requires to have a source of water to be treated (raw-water supply).
What is Potabilis’ main advantage against Ambient Water Generators (AWG)?
AWG are basically air conditioners, like the ones you have at home. They produce water by condensing ambient vapor the same way an A/C does, but instead of throwing it away, they serve it to you with some post-treatment. As an A/C, they work with refrigerants or gas-fuels, consume a lot of energy, require skilled personnel to maintain it, and produce a huge carbon footprint when refrigerants get lost to the atmosphere.
Can Potabilis be used to treat sewage?
No. Potabilis, for the time being, cannot treat sewage. It has had great results treating raw-water under the presence of heavy metals. So, if your community has a lake, a river, or underground water source compromised by pollution (human fesses, metals, high mineral concentration, etc.) Potabilis can be a solution for you.
About our company - Easy Clean Water
What is your value proposition?
We are building drinkable water plants to meet the requirements of remote communities that don’t have the resources to operate and maintain conventional potabilization technologies. Remote communities can be complicated, they need simple, common, and mostly old-school components (the ones they have been in contact with most of their lives). Also, they need a way to financially sustain the operation of the plant, not relying on the drinkable-water buyer to pay for components.
We developed a social capacity building program where the community can produce local-added crafts products using distilled water to pay most of the operation costs.
When was Easy Clean Water created?
We started ECW in 2020.
In what point of your technology development are you at?
We have completed all of the detailed engineering designs for Potabilis S1 (25 L/day), Potabilis S2 (200 L/day), Potabilis 1 (1000 L/day), and Potabilis 5 (5000 L/day) drinkable water plants. We are currently building our laboratory testing rig for material optimization, and a Potabilis S1 plant for on-site operation testing.
Our designs are based on our CEO’s background experience with solar water desalination. Those researches made him win the Honorable Mention of the Graduate Student Award, awarded by the Solar Energy Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2011.
Do you have a Minimal Viable Product (MVP)?
We are building our MVP right now. It will be the Potabilis S1 plant, capable of producing 25 L of drinkable water per day. This will help us gather information on user interaction and make improvements to the other capacities.
Do you use a proprietary technology?
For the time being, we are using public-domain technology. A freedom-to-operate analysis has been made to make sure of that. We will begin promoting our intellectual property applications after we gather user intelligence and validate our hypothesis.