Source units installed on the roof of the UHWI.
Development advocate and philanthropist Joe Issa gives the thumbs up to an off-grid and self-contained hydro panel system that makes quality drinking water from sunlight and air, stating that widespread use of the system could solve Jamaica’s water woes and compliment the ban on plastics.
Installed on the roof of the children’s ward at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Issa said of the system: “I am pleased for the children at the university hospital, who will have an independent source of water, through a dispenser, especially as a backup in times of water crises. The new water source will mean a lot to them and their family and friends, who no longer have to carry bottled water to them when they visit.
“The big picture of course, is when all government and private sector buildings, shopping plazas, entertainment and other public places and homes have the system installed. This will surely mark the death of plastic bottles, and represent a landmark in Jamaica’s water security.
“The hydro panel system is proving once more how technology is transforming the way we do things and the level of efficiency we achieve in doing so,” said Issa, who gives back to the education of underprivileged school children through his Cool Charities subsidiary.
Joe Issa, head of Coolcorp
Issa, who is a technology enthusiast was commending SOLAR Buzz Jamaica for successfully completing installation of an off-grid and self-contained hydro panel system on the roof of children’s ward at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), which makes drinking water from sunlight and air.
According to the Observer, 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.
Jason Robinson, CEO at Solar Buzz Jamaica
The initiative was reportedly made possible by a partnership between Solar Buzz, which provides alternate energy solutions through solar systems, and USA-based company Zero Mass Water, the pioneer of the Source unit technology.
The article cited Jason Robinson, chief executive officer at Solar Buzz Jamaica, saying that following the soft launch of the Source units at the hospital recently, water samples from the units were sent overseas for testing and all samples passed the test.
Robinson reportedly 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 was quoted as saying.
Robinson also noted the benefit of the unit in the case where the National Water Commission is unable to provide water to an area, according to the report.
Other benefits, he reportedly 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.
A Source unit by USA-based Zero Mass Water
The Source units are said to carry a warranty of five years, with an expected life span of 15 years.
According to the website – Energeia Water, distributor of Source units – more than 99.7% of earth’s water is unusable by humans and most living things, due to saline or water trapped in glaciers. This leaves a tiny portion of accessible fresh water for us to use, citing the US Geological Survey.
Powered entirely by solar, SOURCE is said to utilize an ultra-absorbent material which extracts pure water vapor from the air around it, even in arid conditions, and converts it into liquid water, similar to distilled. The water is mineralized with magnesium and calcium before being delivered directly into the tap.
According to the website, the hydro panels are built in arrays designed to meet the drinking water needs of each application.