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How to Create Water with Solar Power


Water-Drop-Ap-Verheggen-2-537x336Water shortages are quickly becoming a serious threat. In fact, the World Resources Institute reports that over 30 countries will likely have trouble meeting their population’s water needs by just 2040.

Luckily, researchers are thinking hard about how to create water; some projects may also help modern life become more sustainable.

Solar experimenter Ap Verheggen’s new idea would extract moisture from the air using solar power. That way, drinkable water can be “created” anywhere, even in the desert.

The design uses PV cells to harvest solar energy, which powers a fan as well as a condenser that creates water. The liquid would collect in a cistern, or “leaf” as shown in the design, and the spout includes a carbon water filter that can be replaced. Rocks could also be inserted into the cistern to add nutritious minerals to the water.

The WaterDrop is still just a concept, but Verheggen explains that with the recent advances in photovoltaic technology and materials science, his idea is more feasible than ever.

Verheggen’s other projects include the SunGlacier, which makes ice using moisture in the air. The SunGlacier can also be used in the desert; Verheggen and his partner Cofely Refrigeration initially did not think the Sahara would have enough humidity to create ice, but the innovative designers used a shipping container and a humidifier to create a more desert-like environment.

Verheggen’s ideas may seem ahead of his time, but they could prove vital to society’s survival in the very near future. Given how important it is that society learns how to create water, these ideas may have come just in time.

Images (c) Ap Verheggen

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