In California, water is a big deal. Our memories do not have to stretch far to recall the drier days of the drought and the complication it posed. Solar is also a big deal for us here in the Golden State. Just last month, for instance, the state generated more than half of its energy through solar – and it’s not stopping there.

The importance of water and solar is unmistakable. These precious resources allow us to power our homes and businesses, grow our foods and provide other basic needs – and even recreation at parks like Folsom Lake. And not to mention, solar allows us to save money.

Now, scientists have combined these two resources to create something incredibly powerful: drinking water out of thin air.

According to the smarts folks at MIT and Berkeley, a new solar-powered device will not only produce water, but water suitable for drinking.

The device, for which its technology already existed, is specifically designed for drier, desert-like climates. The box-like machine contains layered metal-organic material, which acts like a sponge to capture as much water as possible when it’s open from air and rain. Once inside, the box is closed and exposed to the sun, which converts it into a liquid phase with a condenser. This process makes the water suitable for drinking.

The system is in the “proof of concept” phase and will eventually be scaled up from its current prototype version, which is about the size of a tissue box. The goal is to create devices large enough to provide for a family of four.

We are proud that solar energy can do so much good. We certainly see it every day. When many people think about solar, they usually associate it with power, clean energy, electricity and lower utility bills. Those are all tremendous attributes. Then you read about technology and the good solar can do in providing one of the most basic needs, and you’re left in awe.

Aztec Solar has been working with clients across Northern California for more than 35 years. Our customers know that it’s not just about saving money. It is clear that they are a part of a special clean energy movement that’s so vital to our future. A movement that provides hope, energy dependence and precious resources like electricity for our homes and business, and clean water.

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