Hospital gets off-grid system that makes water from sunlight, air

Hospital gets off-grid system that makes water from sunlight, air

Friday, February 15, 2019

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SOLAR Buzz Jamaica has successfully completed installation of an off-grid and self-contained hydropanel system that makes drinking water from sunlight and air at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Children's Ward.

The technology, called Source, uses advanced water capture technology (a Source unit) to make water from sunlight and air. Twenty Source units were installed at the UHWI Children's Ward, with each unit estimated to produce up to 10 litres of water a day, depending on weather conditions. The units produce water best in low to medium sun and humidity.

Solar Buzz, which provides alternate energy solutions through solar systems, partnered with the USA-based company Zero Mass Water, the pioneer of the Source unit technology, on this project.

Following the soft launch of the Source units at the hospital last week, Jason Robinson, chief executive officer at Solar Buzz Jamaica, said water samples from the units were sent overseas for testing and all samples passed the test.

Robinson said, however, that the Ministry of Health was doing its final checks before the water dispensers are fully open to the public.

“Solar Buzz is very excited about our new partnership with Zero Mass Water as we believe that every hospital and school should have these Source units in order to provide clean and reliable drinking water, while reducing the use of plastic bottles as well as dependency on the traditional means of getting water,” Robinson said.

Robinson also noted the benefit of the unit in the case where the National Water Commission is unable to provide water to an area.

Other benefits, he noted, include the reduction of water bottles, projecting that the units at the hospital could save more than 1,000,000 plastic bottles over 10 years, which he called a step in the right direction with the country's ban on plastic bags.

The Source units carry a warranty of five years, with an expected life span of 15 years.

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