Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 35° Cloudy
News >  Business

Liberty Lake-based Tsunami Products experiencing increase in demand for its atmospheric water generators

A Liberty Lake-based company is manufacturing products that it says could be a solution for water needs in drought-stricken areas.

Tsunami Products creates atmospheric water generators that pull moisture out of the air and convert it into drinkable water. The company has recently experienced a jump in demand.

“We sold quite a few in California last month because of the drought,” said Kevin Collins, the company’s president and CEO.

Tsunami Products has also sold water generators to residential and commercial customers in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, the Cayman Islands and Cape Town, South Africa, Collins added.

“Today, I wrote purchase orders for three units,” Collins said in an interview Tuesday. “It’s getting to be a unit every couple days. Before that – in the past three months – we hadn’t sold more than 20 units. Now, we’re really accelerating that and beating targets by big margins now.”

The company in the past two weeks received more than 20 orders for its generators, adding to the 20 already sold this year.

The company’s atmospheric water generators come in a range of sizes made for use at residential properties, offices, farms, industrial developments and more.

The units operate on electric and solar power, and work best in climates of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 80% relative humidity, Collins said.

Because the generators are reliant on humidity and temperature of the surrounding environment, the amount of water output varies by location.

The Tsunami-500 costs $30,000 and can produce up to 200 gallons of water a day. The Tsunami-750 – a commercial model – starts at about $49,500 and can produce up to 329 gallons of water a day, depending on temperature and humidity.

The company also sells two large-scale industrial units suitable for disaster relief projects, construction sites, and military and cruise ships.

The generators work by extracting water from moisture in the air and pulling it into the unit with fans. Dust, pollen and other particles are removed via a multilayer air filter.

The air is drawn through condensing coils and cooled to reach the dew point, extracting moisture that is converted into water droplets.

The water is extracted via the company’s patented Tsunami Core Technology, collected in a storage tank and then purified through a multistage filtration system, making it safe and ready to drink.

Tsunami Products was founded in 2017 by Collins, his wife, Keri, Ted Bowman and Charles Lormis, who assemble and ship the generators.

The company is at 1711 N. Madson St. in Liberty Lake, sharing a facility with Premier Manufacturing Inc., a sheet metal fabrication and assembly company also owned by the Collins family.

Collins said his idea for Tsunami Products’ atmospheric water generators was sparked after designing a similar product for another company in 2015.

“The company really didn’t pursue it,” Collins said. “We had (obtained) some patents ourselves, so we decided when they went defunct, we would continue the process and make it a viable product. With our engineering and manufacturing capabilities, it was a no-brainer to pick up and run with it.”

Collins said the water generators have garnered an “amazing response” from customers.

“All I ever hear from people is, ‘Thank God, I’m off grid,’ ” he said.

Tsunami Products is also pursuing a patent for its portable Tsunami-Fodder system, which produces its own water and is equipped with temperature and humidity control equipment allowing it to grow animal fodder from seeds, Collins said.

Tsunami Products is among more than a dozen companies worldwide that have developed atmospheric water generators. The atmospheric water generator market is expected to reach $8.9 billion in revenue by 2027, according to Grand View Research, a San Francisco-based market research firm.

In California, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley have created a water harvester device that uses sunlight to pull liters of water out of the air each day in arid climates. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Source manufactures solar-powered hydropanels to condense water from moisture in the air.

In July, Israel-based company Watergen Inc. installed one of its GEN-M atmospheric water generators in the Hard Rock community of the Navajo Nation in Arizona. The generator produces 211 gallons of clean water per day, according to the company.

Key factors driving the atmospheric water generator market include declining freshwater levels combined with favorable government regulations, and increasing research and development in technology, according to Grand View Research.

High equipment and operating costs, however, have resulted in a limited number of buyers for atmospheric water generators. Future product innovations to reduce expenses and improve efficiency are anticipated to propel the market forward, Grand View Research said in a report.

While atmospheric water generators could be an option for some, the units are unlikely to solve water needs on a larger, widespread scale amid climate change, said Jan Boll, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Washington State University.

“It is a complementary solution, but not the solution,” Boll said.

Boll added a viable approach to addressing water insecurity is to ensure access is spread evenly and equitably.

While Tsunami Products’ generators would only be operational in the spring and summer in the Pacific Northwest, the company is working on a solution for colder environments, Collins said. The company is also considering an expansion to meet growing demand.

“We are growing dramatically and looking at trying to lease more space for assembly,” Collins said.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.