UH Engineering Team Wins PACE Shark Tank Competition

On November 18, team Nimbus participated in the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) shark tank competition, and was successfully selected for the Judges’ Choice Award. The competition was hosted by the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business in the iLab, where six finalists pitched their innovative ideas. Congratulations team Nimbus!

Millions of people around the world are forced to rely on water contaminated by harmful substances. Several factors are making this problem worse: droughts caused by climate change; an increasing frequency in natural disasters driven by hotter ocean surface temperatures; and a rise in the human population. All these factors are sharply reducing the amount of potable water, pushing us towards a bleak future.

To address this growing crisis, a group of seven mechanical engineering students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa turned to an Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) as a solution. These undergraduate students (team Nimbus) have sought to develop a novel approach to extract water from the atmosphere with the least amount of power for condensation.

AWGs adsorb water vapor molecules from the air through a unique process of desiccant dehumidification, and then generate a pressure/temperature gradient to release the water. This research project represents a genuine step towards a more sustainable planet, and potentially become an important component of a future infrastructure that better supports the environment.

The main aim of this project is to demonstrate a proof of concept for this novel device during a yearlong senior design course. This endeavor requires development and implementation of several engineering skills such as critical thinking, design methodology, project planning, decision making, materials selection, economic analysis, quality control, and analysis and testing.

Team: Ame Masutomi, Blayton Padasdao, Bradley Beaudry, Eric Ucol, Garreth Goya, Maverick Matsuoka, Ryan Chun
Advisor: Professor Bardia Konh