subscribe to ENR magazine subscribe
contact us
advertise
careers industry jobs
events events
FAQ
Mcgraw Hill Construction
ENR Logo
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
& receive immediate web access
comment

Water Filtration Unit Is Off-Grid Performer

Text size: A A

The Essential Element, a Hopewell, N.J.-based company, has put “off the grid” on the radar. The company’s combination of new technologies in water purification and energy generation has led to the creation of HYDRA, a 20,000-gal-per-day water purifier the company claims is the first self-sustainable, portable water filtration system.

SUNNY DISPOSITION The HYDRA features 12 solar panels that produce 2.88 kW to power the 16-ft-long assembly, which can be transported in a truck bed or on a utility trailer.
Photo: Essential Element
The HYDRA features 12 solar panels that produce 2.88 kW to power the 16-ft-long assembly, which can be transported in a truck bed or on a utility trailer.
----- Advertising -----

In their regular jobs at Oil Free Now LLC, Woodbury, Conn., David Squires and Brad Carlson were developing a water filtration system when they came across a patented solar and hydrogen energy system invented by Mike Strizki. For four years, Strizki has used the system to live “off the grid” in his Hopewell home. The house uses photovoltaic panels to charge batteries as well as to power an electrolytic action that breaks water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The elements also can be recombined to produce purified water. Hydrogen is used in a fuel cell to produce electricity during dark hours to power and heat the home.

Squires and Carlson visited Strizki to see his system and soon after pitched him the idea of miniaturizing it for HYDRA. A year and a half later, with an investment of $160,000, Squires, Carlson and Strizki, now Essential Element’s CFO, COO and CTO, respectively, have been featured with their device in videos on CNN and Reuters websites.

Within two weeks of its May 19 release, the trio not only made additional media appearances but pitched HYDRA to several potential buyers, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and the non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders.

But innovation comes at a price: $99,500. That amount buys a device with 12 collapsible solar panels that collect more than enough energy to run the purification system while the sun is shining. The solar energy powers an electrolyzer to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen, keeping the hydrogen as an energy source and the medical-grade oxygen for medicinal uses.

The hydrogen provides power for the ultrafiltration system—which has an extra-fine filter—enabling it to operate during periods without sunlight. The single hydrogen tank that comes with the unit, along with a 300-amp/hr rechargeable battery, is capable of fueling HYDRA for nearly 30 hours without sunlight. Additional hydrogen tanks can be attached.

The Essential Element has one prototype completed but expects to have three ready for deployment by the end of the summer.

 

----- Advertising -----
  Blogs: ENR Staff   Blogs: Other Voices  
Critical Path: ENR's editors and bloggers deliver their insights, opinions, cool-headed analysis and hot-headed rantings
Project Leads/Pulse

Gives readers a glimpse of who is planning and constructing some of the largest projects throughout the U.S. Much information for pulse is derived from McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge.

For more information on a project in Pulse that has a DR#, or for general information on Dodge products and services, please visit our Website at www.dodge.construction.com.

Information is provided on construction projects in following stages in each issue of ENR: Planning, Contracts/Bids/Proposals and Bid/Proposal Dates.

View all Project Leads/Pulse »

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.