Akash Ganga – Water from thin air

Arun Natarajan points to the profile of S. Sivakumar, founder of Akash Ganga in The Mint.

All his life, Sivakumar, who looks an unlikely capitalist in his casual trousers, shirt, and bushy white moustache, has been interested in understanding what makes some people rich, and others poor.

At the Delhi School of Economics, where he completed his doctorate, his thesis was on this subject. He studied 200 families across three generations in rural India. His conclusion: “Affluence is a matter of chance.”

That discovery changed his political viewpoint…His interest in understanding the genesis of wealth did not…he was convinced that water, or the absence of it, held the key.

The idea for Akash Ganga came to Sivakumar in 2004, mainly as an offshoot of his research…The scientific basis behind Sivakumar’s air-to-water conversion is the heat exchange process: In this case, it involves sucking in air from the atmosphere and blowing it over cold gas resulting in the creation of water (in much the same way, condensate, or water, forms on the outside of the windows of a heated room in winter or an air-conditioned room in summer).

To Sivakumar, Akash Ganga, named after the tributary of the Ganga that provides water to the heavens in Hindu mythology, is more than a company; it is a mission. “I am doing this under a business format because there is no other format to take it to the people,” he says.
By mid-2004, Sivakumar and his team worked out how to make water from air. AGL invested in a modest 3,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility and started rolling out its products. Priced between Rs9,200 (USD 235) (for an 8-litre version) to Rs42,500 (USD 1,087) (for a 120-litre one), the machines were powered by electricity, and sold through stores that sold consumer durables such as television sets, washing machines and refrigerators. The Akash Ganga machines produced a litre of water at an average cost of Rs0.80 a litre (USD 0.02c), but, surprisingly, found little success. The company was unable to sell the product as it lacked the resources to market the product on a larger scale.
Since the process of converting air to water results in a drop in temperature (one reason why some air conditioners leak water), AGI has pitched its products as a three-in-one as the company terms it: an airconditioner, water creator, and air cleanser.

The machine produces ISO standard water for drinking and the company has sold some 400 machines till now. Considering fresh water is a major decreasing resource in the entire world and particularly in India, this innovation has some good potential if the economics work out.


13 thoughts on “Akash Ganga – Water from thin air

  1. Gerhard LASCHOBER
    Austria, Europa

    Drinking water production by using atmospherical humidity and hot-air baloon by applying the “Perpetuum mobile“ method

    Changes of the climate cause a gradual warming of the Earths surface parts and surrounding atmosphere, which may seem quite alarming and frightening. As a result of these climatic changes, and the increased need of our population for drinking water – the consumption of drinking water increases, while sources of drinking water decrease!

    To solve this problem, over the years of hard work, I developed an innovative method of “sweet“ drinking water production and had it patented.

    The name of our product “Drinking water production Perpetuum mobile“ may seem a bit exaggerated and also not quite technically correct. However, to illustrate its function in hot regions with lack of water, the term is quite accurate.

    Here is a brief description of how our product works (producing about 80.000 liters of drinking water a day):

    There is a box hanging from a hot-air baloon, in a similar way to the baloon cage, but larger in size. On the upper side of the box are located two buoyant “floating“ baloons, which can “transfer“ the air released from inside of the baloon by using pressure or temperature mechanics.

    All these baloons are located at a specific height. It is just above zero temperature (usually height of 3500 – 4500 meteres above sea level). To reach this height, the baloons are attached to a cable that allows them to reach the specific height, in a nearly upright positon. The baloons are attached and connected to a water condensing device which is located on the ground.

    The connecting cable between the baloon and the device contains a tube made of fiber that seals and partially insulates. The shape of the cable is sustained by an inner shell manufactured of a lightweight fibre.

    Cold air (about 2° Celsius) runs through the tube from the baloon to the condensing device on the ground. From the device, another tube is run back up into the baloon with air heated by the heat and cold exchange in the condensing device on the ground. The tube with heated air is insulated with a coat protecting it from sun-heat and contact from the “cold“ tube.

    This principle enables a self-sustaining (autarkic) and practical way of deriving water depending on the size and method of of the operation. This operation is implemented on the physical laws and their recurrence, which are based on regular changes of air density accompanied by the essential temperature changes.

    Cold air comming down from the baloon through the tube to the condensing device, cools the condensing surface until the warm air from its surroundings starts to condense. Conversly, the condenser heats up by the exchange of temperature. The heated air that derives, continues to drift on its own (or semi-independently) through the tube up to the baloon box.

    The heated air acts as a carrier gas until its cooled down in the baloon box and relocated by the two floating baloons by using pressure. Finally, the heated air is replaced completely by subsequent heated air.

    The process of air flow described above can sustain running on its own or semi-independently. Water, derived from the condensation device, can be treated by adding minerals, additives etc. and then consumed.

    The first step – a design, up to the patent registration (no.4AA 703/2007/IPC:E03B – the conclusion is positiv), was developed solely by me (as a private person). In the time frame up to the end of April 2008, I would like to research the market and marketing options, clarify the legal patent rights ( or eventually participation on it together with people insterested in it), leading to the final stage of practical implementation of my invention and application for a worldwide patent.

    While working on my invention, I kept it very discrete. However, after patenting it, it is essential to inform you about my invention – the water deriving device. I am hoping to awaken lots of interest to put it into practical use. I am welcoming all comments, reviews and press service from the media – anything that can help my invention to succeed! I am looking forward to your response!

    Many best regards
    Gerhard Laschober
    e-mail: gml@aon.at

  2. we want to but two machine of smalleast model, kindly ask the co. to contact me at 09897433727 urgently

  3. Pingback: What should Akash Ganga’s Strategy be? « World is Green

  4. Hi,
    I am P aramesh from Bangalore. I have 3 questions to clarify…
    1) What will be pH of the water produced through thin air?
    2) Will it have any metal, biological or chemical contamination? and
    3) What will be the TDS level of the water?


    • Dear Paramesh,
      Since I do not know the reason behind this question,
      Still we shall give you the data of the water,
      pH– 7-7.5

      no metal, bilogical, chemical contamination.

      TDS — 12-20.

  5. Interesting Work!

    I got know about your Company and the work only today through The Economic Times.

    Yes such ventures will need continued follow up in terms of R & D, Marketing and most important Awareness creation.
    Keep it Up!

  6. What are users’ comment of this device ? What are the out puts of this in different seasons ? Has the water obtained been subjected to tests in approved labs and what are the findings ? Does it also work through storage batteries when power is not available or in places where there is no power ? Has it been tried out to work with solar power ?

    • We have hundreds of satisfied customers. You could look at the testimonial in our website http://www.akashgangaindia.com
      The water has been regularly tested by reputed labs like SGS, the water was found pure with no microbes and TDS of around 20 ppm.
      Our system has compressors which work on AC current.
      Solar is possible but the capital cost is highly prohibitive.

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