Date of Thesis

Fall 2019


Several atmospheric water generation (AWG) system configurations were analyzed to determine the feasibility of AWG as a method to combat water stress. In order to best combat water stress, AWG must be implemented in such a way which minimizes the energetic and monetary cost of water production. Thermodynamic and economic analyses were used to compare the performance of several AWG system configurations. Metrics such as specific energy consumption (SEC) and levelized cost of water (LCOW), which measure the energetic and monetary cost of water production respectively, were used to compare each system. Using this approach, the optimal system configuration was found to be a batch-style desiccant-based AWG system which utilizes latent energy recovery. The minimum theoretical SEC and LCOW for this system are 210 kWh/m3 and 3.34 $/m3 (12.64 $/Kgal). A prototype of a batch-style desiccant-based AWG system with no energy recovery was developed and tested. The evaluation of this system validated the approach used in the thermodynamic analyses for predicting the system’s performance. Future work will involve implementing latent energy recovery and redesigning some of the system components in order to further decrease the system’s SEC.


Atmospheric Water Generation, Solar, Desiccant, Water Vapor, Water Stress, Energy Recovery

Access Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Nathan P. Siegel