Conserve and Use Waste Water From Air-Conditioners

Window air conditioner, from left sideImage via Wikipedia
I don't know if anyone has thought through this innovative idea, but I often have. In fact, there have been days when I've spent hours thinking about this idea, especially during the summer season. I'm talking about Air-Conditioners. Have you ever noticed the amount of water your split-AC accumulates during an eight-hour run? It's nothing less than what a medium-sized bucket can hold; approximately 15 liters. How does it work
The one word answer is condensation.  


Let's say there are 50 households in a street that contain Air-Conditioners. In a hot and humid city like Chennai, that number is far too less. Anyway, let's also assume that each of these households have their ACs running for at least 8 hours a day, on an average. Based on my previous paragraph, that translates to 50 medium-sized buckets of water, which is approximately 750 liters! That calculation was just for a single street. If I applied the same calculation for 10 streets, I'd end up with 7,500 liters of water! 

Can you imagine how much water an entire city can produce, just from ACs? What if we conserved all of it? 

Invention Ideas

What if we had a system that could collect all the water from all house holds in a street, and divert the same into a common reservoir? The invention idea that we're talking about here is similar to that of rainwater harvesting. However, rainwater harvesting taps only the rainwater. To the best of my knowledge, there is no technology in today's world that can conserve water drained from an AC machine. What if we built such a technology? The following are some of the uses or applications that I can think of:

1.) I have no idea about the toxicity of the water that gets dissipated from an AC machine. I'm sure it has some chemicals, but have no idea about chemical composition or concentration. In case it isn't as toxic as expected, the water can be diverted to the existing rainwater harvesting channels in a given household. 

2.) Again, if the water isn't toxic, or can be detoxified at a minimum cost, it can be used for irrigation and other agricultural purposes.

3.) How about accumulating the water in a dam, and setting up a water turbine plat right there?

4.) If you have a garden, have your self-activated sprinkler system draw water directly from your AC machine, via a personal reservoir!

Can you think of other applications?

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2 Response to Conserve and Use Waste Water From Air-Conditioners

December 24, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Good one dear. I liked the idea. However are you sure that we get so much condensation? And where does this condensation happen? Vapor condenses on the cold side of the heat exchanger,which is inside the bedroom. This happens only in humid regions. The dry areas have almost nil condensation I feel. I haven't seen my split ac bleeding yet :)

December 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM

@Reformer: You'll not believe how humid Chennai is. In fact, the inspiration for this post was my own split-AC :) During summers, every morning, I empty a medium sized bucket, which gets filled overnight. There's a water outlet in the split-Ac that collects the condensed water and drains it out of the bedroom - I've kept a bucket right under it, mainly because we don't have a proper outlet where we can let it go.

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