© stephen4
© stephen4

Supercomputer to provide access to water, energy and the internet

A new machine called the ‘Watly’ is to offer solutions for ensuring access to clean water, sustainable energy generation and the benefits of the evolving digital revolution.

Supported by funds under the Horizon 2020 programme, the SME behind the project is now nearly ready to unveil its first full-scale Watly machine.

The Watly machine comprises a central array of solar panels connected to four wing units, each of which houses a bank of vapour compression distillation tubes that can boil unsafe water from sources such as rivers and produce safe, clean water fit for human consumption.

The process is driven by waste heat harvested from the panels by an air circulation system – a technique that founder and CEO of Watly, Marco Attisani describes as effectively self-powering. “It does not use any energy,” he added.

Since March 2013 Attisani and his team have developed two prototypes, one of which was tested in Ghana with the support of a mixture of private funding, a crowdsourcing initiative and nearly €1.5m of funding from Horizon 2020.

Attisani claims that results from the purification process are so pure that the output water’s mineral content is effectively zero.

Attisani recently announced that the company is currently working with the European Space Agency (ESA) to create an application that would allow the machine to guide in a drone aircraft to deliver urgent supplies in crisis zones.

The full 3.0 Watly machine is due to be unveiled in May 2017.