Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Christopher M. Chini, PhD


Atmospheric Water Generators (AWG) extract water from the air using one of three available technologies: refrigeration, sorption, and fog harvesting. A refrigeration device works like a dehumidifier and works best in conditions above 60% relative humidity. A sorption device utilizes a desiccant to extract the water vapor from the air and works in very low humidity levels. A fog harvesting device utilizes a mesh to capture the water vapor from the air and requires 100% relative humidity. In this research, I analyze two refrigeration-based devices and one sorption-based device and their efficacy in providing supplemental water supply. Due to climatological and technological constraints, not all regions in the world would see the same water production from an AWG as production is driven by high relative humidity and temperature. This climatological reliance also subjects them to dramatic changes in performance depending on the season. By using previously established hydrologic performance indicators and weather data for the United States, I determine the year-round efficiency metrics of the typical residential sized refrigeration AWG. Using these efficiency metrics, I also determined the reliability, resiliency, and vulnerability of the AWG to produce potable water seasonally across the United States. By evaluating several different devices and mapping the efficiency on the country-scale, this research determines the regional efficacy in adopting AWG technology to supplement potable water supply. This study was the first to look at the performance of atmospheric water generators with such granularity, as well as comparing specific devices predicted water production output to each other and over the years and calculating their Hashimoto’s hydrological indicators.

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DTIC Accession Number