How to Build an Atmospheric Water Generator for Home Use


Learn how to build an atmospheric water generator for home use as a sustainable solution to water scarcity and high water prices.

Atmospheric water generation (AWG) for home use is a technology akin to moisture farming in Star Wars. This innovative technology can produce drinkable water by harnessing moisture from the air, offering a valuable emergency resource in various climates.

In the face of persistent global water scarcity and increasing water costs, atmospheric water generation technology is a promising solution for sustainable and decentralized water production.

What is an Atmospheric Water Generator?

An atmospheric water generator (AWG) is a device that extracts water from the air by condensing water vapor present in the atmosphere. How does an atmospheric water generator work?

These generators work on the principle of cooling the air to its dew point, where the air becomes saturated and water condenses out as droplets. The collected water is then filtered and stored for use as drinking water or for other purposes.

Here’s how an atmospheric water generator typically works:

  • Air Intake: The generator pulls air from the surrounding environment into the system.
  • Cooling: The air is cooled to its dew point, causing the water vapor in the air to condense into liquid water.
  • Condensation: The condensed water droplets are collected and passed through a series of filters to remove impurities.
  • Storage: The purified water is stored in a reservoir for use.
  • Optional Treatment: Some AWGs include additional purification processes such as UV sterilization or reverse osmosis to ensure the water is safe for consumption.
  • Water Quality Monitoring: Some AWGs also include sensors to monitor the quality of the water and ensure it meets safety standards.
  • Water Dispensing: The collected and purified water can be dispensed for drinking or other uses.

AWGs can vary in size and capacity, with some designed for residential use and others for commercial or industrial applications. They are useful in areas where access to clean drinking water is limited or where the water supply is unreliable.

Although atmospheric water generators vary in efficiency depending on the climate, they are most effective in areas where temperatures are several degrees above freezing and humidity levels exceed 40%.

Under ideal conditions, a commercial-scale atmospheric water generator unit can produce up to 10,000 liters of water per day.

While this amount is insufficient to replace a municipal water system, grouping several commercial atmospheric water generator machines as a ‘farm’ can provide backup clean water.

atmospheric water harvester images
Image from Wikipedia. Created with Adobe Illustrator., CC BY-SA 4.0

Where Can I Buy an Atmospheric Water Generator?

Looking to buy an atmospheric water generator in India? Check out the Airiver 5-in-1 Atmospheric Water Generator on Amazon. It transforms humidity from the air into pure, clean water in 24 hours using standard electricity, activated carbon filters, and a reverse osmosis membrane filtration system that removes impurities.

This atmospheric water generator (AWG) requires just 35% humidity and a minimum temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit to produce purified water. It’s suitable for dry climates and includes external hookups for filtering tap water. It comes with a bonus 5-liter container for convenient transport of clean water anywhere.

The NUBE Atmospheric Water Generator is the best atmospheric water generator for home use in the USA. It turns air into water for just 20 cents per gallon. It needs only air and electric power to produce up to 30 liters of alkaline, ionized, mineralized, chlorine-free, fluoride-free water per day.

Here are some more commercial atmospheric water generator brands:

  • Watergen atmospheric water generator
  • Aquaria atmospheric water harvester
  • Ecolo Blue atmospheric water generator
  • AWG800 atmospheric water generator

How to Build an Atmospheric Water Generator

Building a homemade atmospheric water generator (AWG) can be a complex process that requires an understanding of thermodynamics, refrigeration, and air treatment.

Here’s a simplified outline of how you might construct a basic AWG at home:

Materials Needed:

  • Insulated box or chamber
  • Heat exchanger (coils or plates)
  • Cooling mechanism (such as a refrigerator compressor or Peltier device)
  • Fan
  • Condensation surface (metal or plastic sheet)
  • Collection container
  • Filters (for air purification)
  • Tubing and fittings


  • Construct an insulated chamber or box to house the components.
  • Install a heat exchanger (coils or plates) inside the chamber. This will cool the air and help condense the water vapor.
  • Connect the heat exchanger to a cooling mechanism (such as a refrigerator compressor or Peltier device). This will cool the heat exchanger and the air inside the chamber.
  • Install a fan to circulate air inside the chamber, ensuring it comes into contact with the cooled heat exchanger.
  • Place a condensation surface (such as a metal or plastic sheet) below the heat exchanger to collect the condensed water.
  • Install filters in the air intake to purify the air before it enters the chamber.
  • Connect tubing from the condensation surface to a collection container to collect the condensed water.


  • Power the cooling mechanism (refrigerator compressor or Peltier device) to cool the heat exchanger.
  • The fan circulates air inside the chamber, causing it to come into contact with the cooled heat exchanger.
  • As the air cools, water vapor in the air condenses on the condensation surface.
  • The condensed water drips into the collection container, where it can be collected and used.


  • Regularly clean and replace filters to ensure air quality.
  • Check for leaks and condensation buildup in the system.
  • Monitor and adjust cooling settings as needed for optimal water production.

The efficiency of a DIY atmospheric water generator may not match that of commercial systems, so it’s important to manage expectations regarding water production rates.

Building an AWG requires careful attention to safety, especially when working with electrical components and refrigeration systems. Learn how to build a simple DIY atmospheric water generator for home use in the video below.

What is a Passive Atmospheric Water Generator?

AWGs can be a sustainable alternative to traditional water sources. However, they typically require electricity, so they may not be suitable for areas with limited power supply.

A passive atmospheric water generator (AWG) is a type of AWG that operates without the need for external power sources, such as electricity. These generators rely on natural processes, such as temperature differentials, to extract water from the air and condense it into liquid form.

Passive AWGs are often used in remote locations or areas with limited access to electricity. They are typically simpler than active AWGs but may have lower water production rates.

One example is a fog collector system, a device designed to capture water droplets from fog to collect water. These collectors are often used in arid or semi-arid regions where fog is a regular occurrence but traditional water sources are scarce.

The collector typically consists of a fog collector net or mesh that intercepts fog droplets, causing them to coalesce and drip into a collection container. The collected water can then be used for irrigation, drinking, or other purposes.

Fog collectors are a simple and effective way to harness water from fog, providing a sustainable water source in areas where it is needed most.

How to Build an Off-Grid Atmospheric Water Generator

Building an off-grid atmospheric water generator (AWG) that operates without relying on external power sources like electricity can be challenging but is possible using passive methods.

Here’s a basic outline of how you might construct one:

Materials Needed:

  • Large metal or plastic sheet (condensation surface)
  • Insulated box or chamber
  • Heat-absorbing material (e.g., black paint, metal)
  • Collection container
  • Filters (for air purification)
  • Tubing and fittings


  • Construct an insulated box or chamber with one side open.
  • Place the large metal or plastic sheet at an angle inside the chamber, facing the open side. This will serve as the condensation surface.
  • Paint the condensation surface black or use a material that absorbs heat well. This helps increase the surface temperature and aids in condensation.
  • Install filters at the air intake to purify the air before it enters the chamber.
  • Connect tubing from the bottom of the condensation surface to a collection container to collect the condensed water.


  • Place the AWG in a location exposed to airflow, such as on a rooftop or in an area with good ventilation.
  • During the day, the heat-absorbing material heats up, causing the air inside the chamber to warm up and rise.
  • As the warm air rises, it comes into contact with the cooler condensation surface. The temperature difference causes water vapor in the air to condense on the surface.
  • The condensed water drips into the collection container, where it can be collected and used.


  • Regularly clean the condensation surface to prevent buildup that could inhibit condensation.
  • Check and replace filters as needed to maintain air quality.
  • Monitor water collection and adjust the angle of the condensation surface as needed for optimal condensation.

The efficiency of a passive off-grid atmospheric water generator depends on factors such as humidity levels, air temperature, and airflow.

Managing expectations regarding water production rates is essential, as these systems may not produce large quantities of water compared to active, powered AWGs.

Read this research paper on constructing a dual-stage atmospheric water harvesting device for scalable solar-driven water production. Learn how to build a solar atmospheric water harvester in the video below.

How Much Does an Atmospheric Water Generator Cost?

The cost of an atmospheric water generator (AWG) can vary widely depending on several factors such as capacity, technology, brand, and features. Smaller residential units suitable for home use can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more.

Larger commercial or industrial units can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 or higher. Operating costs, including electricity and maintenance, should also be considered.

What are the Disadvantages of Atmospheric Water Generators?

While atmospheric water generators (AWGs) offer many benefits, such as providing a decentralized source of clean water, there are also several disadvantages to consider:

  • High Energy Consumption: AWGs require energy to operate, especially those with refrigeration systems. This can be a significant drawback in off-grid or remote areas where access to electricity is limited or unreliable.
  • Limited Water Production: The water production capacity of AWGs is limited, especially in areas with low humidity or cool temperatures. This can restrict their effectiveness as a primary water source, especially in arid regions.
  • Initial Cost: The upfront cost of purchasing an AWG can be relatively high, especially for larger, commercial-scale units. This cost may be prohibitive for some individuals or communities.
  • Maintenance Requirements: AWGs require regular maintenance, including filter replacement and cleaning, to ensure they function efficiently and produce clean water. Failure to maintain the system properly can lead to reduced performance and water quality issues.
  • Water Quality Concerns: While AWGs are designed to produce clean, drinkable water, there may be concerns about water quality, especially if the system is not properly maintained or if contaminants are present in the air.
  • Environmental Impact: The production and operation of AWGs, particularly those that rely on refrigeration systems, can have environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.
  • Limited Scalability: AWGs may not be easily scalable to meet larger water demands, such as those of a city or large community. Multiple units may be required, increasing the overall cost and complexity of the system.

How To Build An Atmospheric Water Generator
How Does Atmospheric Water Generator Work

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