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Thread: Fresh Water from the air?

  1. #1
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    Fresh Water from the air?

    I recently caught the end of a program on Al Jazeera showing a contraption roughly the size of a 30 gallon water heater that removes water directly from the air, up to 30 liters a day depending on weather conditions. Anyone else know about this marvelous devise? It was developed for third world countries where people don't have easy access to fresh water, an ever increasing population. It can operate w/ a small solar panel.

    I would consider this a worthy investment for TZM members but want to learn more.
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  2. #2
    Dev
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    Totally easy tech, I've had this mind a long time, as a way to hydrate whatever cheap crappy half-desert land I buy someday. Release compressed air, it cools on expansion and the moisture in it condenses. Another option is to run a cooling coil, just like an air conditioner except the temp difference only needs to be just enough to hit the dew point of the ambient air. Both ways, energy needs are low. An alternative to the solar panel is a stirling engine. Daisy chain two engines together, drive one with the other, and the driven one will get cold and produce condensation.

    George Lucas called'em 'Vaporators' , it's the tall thing back left:

    Review_LukeSkywalkerMoistureVaporator_still.jpg
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    Easy?? With nearly half the world's people suffering from lack of fresh, LOCAL, clean drinking water I would have thought supplying millions of these little units as a no brainer. Certainly, George Lucas could be a contributor, maybe even head up such a project…..but I know little about 'where' his head is in this regard, it could be up his arse for all I know,

    Why isn't this a TZM project? The ones I saw were MUCH smaller, with a tap and faucet that were easily accessible by any thirsty person.
    Last edited by droneBEE; 03-23-2015 at 03:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Dev
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    The catch is, a single unit doesn't produce very much water, and in desert conditions with low humidity, very little water indeed. That 30 liter per day figure is best-case, probably need to be on a beach just before a rainstorm, at 99% humidity to get that production. A person would need to have a build cost per unit and crunch the numbers, but I'll bet that wells and pipelines, even tanker trucks, are ultimately more cost-effective. But of course, those things require political will and resources and a degree of freedom to make'em happen. So the usual thing happens when those things are absent, which is nothing.

    Lucas never (as far as I know) expanded on how the Vaporators worked, I was exercising some artistic license there. Just pointing out that even Hollywood managed to think of this idea long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

    But yeah, from a technical point of view, it's not a hard thing. When I get my lathe running and spin out a couple stirling engines I'll play with this and see what kind of water production capacity I can get. It may also be possible to do this as stone-age tech, with little more than rocks, sticks, and maybe some fabric and string. Make a piston that looks like a drum, and use it to force air through a venturi carved in stone. Enclose the venturi opening so any condensation stays cool and doesn't evaporate immediately, and drive the piston with a windmill of sticks and fabric. I'm taking this to an extreme, obviously, but the potential is there.
    Last edited by Dev; 03-23-2015 at 07:56 AM.
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    We're all in this together by ourselves. - Lily Tomlin

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    These are the types of project I would love to fund with the co-op $. I believe if you could get a cheap prototype made and then go for crowd funding to mass produce them and install them in areas that have moisture in the air but very little clean drinking water. Eventually coupling it with clean farming and power supply. Once this system is set up it can make food, power, and water. Once the people are healthy and fed well because the co-op took care of them we can then begin teaching the the importance of a RBE and equality. This might sound like taking people under your wing just to brain wash them to follow your views. However I don't think teaching them the truth about the world and how to take of themselves and each other is really brain washing, more along the lines of enlightening.
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    Fog collectors looks like a promising company:

    The Fog Collectors: Harvesting Water From Thin Air ? State of the Planet
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    I wasn't able to find the one system that caught my eye, but I did find this one. A system that can easily be constructed w/ local materials and maintained by local citizens. We should be providing the 'plans' for anyone needing water IMHO.

    This Tower Pulls Drinking Water Out of Thin Air | Innovation | Smithsonian
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  8. #8
    Dev
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    That's an intelligent design that shows a grasp of the context in which it'll be used.
    We're all in this together by ourselves. - Lily Tomlin

    "I can't put these ideas back in the box." -Jen Wilding

    Behold the turtle, who only makes progress when he sticks his neck out. -A. Terrapin


  9. #9
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    I was thinking about that too, and think that you can make a compressor to running on solar light, some mirror in parabolic form can concentrate the solar light to running the compressor.
    The unity can be made for 150$ maybe

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    Interesting. How's it going now?
    No pains, no gains.
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