Innovation: The solar-powered Watly can bring purified water (plus Wi-Fi!) to anywhere on earth
Form and function
Watly, a 15-ton, 130-foot-long computer, uses energy from 80 solar modules to purify water, provide wireless coverage, and power or charge other devices. Its inventors say it can meet these daily needs for about 3,000 people.
Attisani says he’s working to bring Watly’s price down as he refines a new model, due in July. He’s also working on a water purification unit that’s one-tenth Watly’s size, which he plans to price at €20,000 or less. Rachida Justo, an entrepreneurship professor at IE Business School in Madrid, says Watly’s potential justifies the upfront cost. “I see a lot of innovation in just one machine,” she says.
“This is the future of water management and electricity generation. It’s production close to consumption”
Cost Attisani says he plans to sell the first machine for €500,000 to €1 million to a telecom company or similar utility. Backup When it’s not sunny, batteries provide three days’ worth of power for Wi-Fi and charging but not enough for the water...
1. Water Watly’s solar-powered pumps can draw about 1,300 gallons of dirty water a day through a tanksand-pipes system that uses heat, graphene, and other materials to remove contaminants, normalize pH and mineral levels, and store the clean water.
Innovator Marco Attisani Age 44 Founder and chief executive officer of Watly, a 10-employee startup in Udine, Italy