High priced competitions can be a good way to promote innovation in a specific area. That's what the non-profit XPrize Foundation thought and promised $ 1.7 million in total. In order to receive the money, a device had to be presented that extracts at least 2,000 liters of drinking water a day from the air, is powered by renewable energies and is not too expensive to operate. David Hertz and Rich Groden finally fulfilled these requirements with a system called WeDew. After all, they received $ 1.5 million in prize money and are now looking for ways to use their special drinking water container worldwide. The two developers want to cooperate with various charitable aid organizations.
The cloud formation is imitated
But how exactly does the system work? Basically, it is the combination of two existing systems. One is a device called Skywater, which uses a chemical process to simulate cloud formation in the atmosphere. Put simply, warm air is cooled down to produce drops of water that are collected in a tank. This process does not work by itself, but requires energy. This in turn will be won in the second part of the plant. There, a biogas plant is installed, which can be operated for example with pieces of wood or coconut shells. At the same time this creates heat, which in turn can be used in the second part of the container. Ultimately, drinking water can be obtained at a price of less than two cents per liter.
In the event of a disaster, the containers deliver water and energy
The container design also has the advantage that the system can be transported relatively easily. The two inventors therefore think about using them for disaster relief. "One could imagine stationing these shipping containers around the world ready to be able to help in the event of a disaster with water and energy," explains Hertz the idea behind it. At the same time, however, the WeDew container can also be permanently installed in one location, where it can then take over part of the drinking water supply. The 2,000 liters of fresh water per day could be estimated to be sufficient for around 100 people. Because the system produces the required energy itself, the approach can also be easily scaled by simply placing several containers next to each other.
Via: Science Times