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Author Topic: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)  (Read 5217 times)

OldLeatherneck

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The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« on: March 07, 2014, 09:00:10 PM »
My wife saw the video of this on Facebook today.   I have no idea whether this concept would be economically feasible for large-scale development.  After a Google search I found the following Time article which provides more of a description.  Thought I would share this to get some feedback from the broader community.

http://techland.time.com/2013/03/05/finally-a-billboard-that-creates-drinkable-water-out-of-thin-air/



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ccgwebmaster

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 09:11:33 PM »
My wife saw the video of this on Facebook today.   I have no idea whether this concept would be economically feasible for large-scale development.  After a Google search I found the following Time article which provides more of a description.  Thought I would share this to get some feedback from the broader community.

I'm sure I recall reading something about this before ages ago - can't say I read a lot of details - but I don't see how it would be particularly energy efficient. It would work like an air conditioner or dehumidifier trying to condense atmospheric moisture onto the cooled condensing surface and taking away the water. That means having to use energy to pump the working fluid around the loop (similar principle to a fridge).

I'm curious though - is the energy input require to condense the water comparable to that required to boil it? Does it count as a phase change to take water vapour that evaporated and to then condense it again? If so, I think the energy requirements would be comparable to boiling sea water to condense the steam to get fresh water? And that assuming the rest of the setup was comparably efficient (questionable).

Even if energy wasn't a problem - over a larger scale - I could see problems scaling it up - after all - how much of the local water vapour can you remove before you need a fresh supply of air with new water vapour? How do the maths look for amount of water you can extract?

On the whole I would have thought passive collectors (if such could be designed - to condense the fluid at night and let it run down to a collector at the base) would make a lot more sense - but cannot see how anything like this would provide water in the volumes required for industrial or agricultural use. Short term baseline survival - perhaps.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 09:25:52 PM »

.................On the whole I would have thought passive collectors (if such could be designed - to condense the fluid at night and let it run down to a collector at the base) would make a lot more sense - but cannot see how anything like this would provide water in the volumes required for industrial or agricultural use. Short term baseline survival - perhaps.


ccg,

My first impression was the same as yours that the energy requirements coupled with the original production costs would not make this design feasible.  However, if the geographic location provided enough sunlight, in a very high humidity environment, solar power might be able to power each station.

I just wanted to point out that there are novel concepts being tried to solve many of our current problems.  not that I expect to see any "magic bullets" any time soon!!
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Laurent

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 01:36:51 AM »
There is that french company :
http://www.eolewater.com/

May have some interest to you...

ccgwebmaster

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 05:24:04 AM »
My first impression was the same as yours that the energy requirements coupled with the original production costs would not make this design feasible.  However, if the geographic location provided enough sunlight, in a very high humidity environment, solar power might be able to power each station.

That thought crossed my mind, closely followed by the thought that you could probably put the installed solar capacity to better use than that. I also wondered if it wouldn't just be energetically cheaper to pump (or even truck or rail freight) water long distance from places with plenty than to use atmospheric capture in regions of useable humidity (generally places with more rainfall anyway!).

I just wanted to point out that there are novel concepts being tried to solve many of our current problems.  not that I expect to see any "magic bullets" any time soon!!

It's novel, that's for sure. Never any harm thinking outside the box, good new ideas can come from nowhere else...

Neven

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 10:13:55 AM »
If used on a large scale, would this dampen the water vapour feedback, and thus help mitigate AGW? Seems easier than extracting CO2 from the atmosphere.

I would calculate this myself, but I'm not good with numbers and don't have any envelopes ATM.  :)
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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 10:58:01 AM »
If used on a large scale, would this dampen the water vapour feedback, and thus help mitigate AGW? Seems easier than extracting CO2 from the atmosphere.

I would calculate this myself, but I'm not good with numbers and don't have any envelopes ATM.  :)

I shudder to think of the infrastructure required!

Besides, the gains are temporary - presumably the water captured is used and gets back into the water cycle unless pumping it underground in which case evaporation from the oceans will still replace it as fast as you bury it...

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/maximum-moisture-content-air-d_1403.html

At 40C and 100% humidity, it seems you get around 50g (or ml) per cubic metre of air. The atmosphere is a pretty big volume, and that's a lot of processing to make an appreciable difference!

TerryM

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 11:47:53 AM »
The billboard is one of the most remarkable pieces of advertising art I've ever seen, but I think I'd prefer the turbine method for a couple of reasons. The RO system in the billboard would be an unneeded addition in almost any location. Good filtration and UV irradiation should be sufficient unless you're on the beach or downwind of a nasty smokestack.
To get enough humid air over your collector you'll need some wind, so why not utilize that wind to generate the power & since it's only going to work when wind is blowing in from across the water a rotating turbine shouldn't be needed. When the wind is coming from across the desert the turbine won't spin, but the air would be too arid to milk anyways.
I'd guess the turbine would produce a fair amount to excess electricity which might be a very valuable by-product in many locations.
Terry

johnm33

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 10:42:30 PM »
I'm sure there's a better website but this is close enough, searched dewponds, http://www.rexresearch.com/airwells/airwells.htm I fancy the fog fences could be a lot of use in the right places.

Laurent

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2014, 01:10:14 AM »
You have this association that does a good job spreading the word about collecting dew.
They use a special surface to collect dew and it does seem interesting...
http://www.opur.fr/index.htm

OldLeatherneck

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Re: The billboard that produces potable water out of air (Video)
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2014, 11:07:54 PM »
What I find most valuable about this Forum is the willingness of the members to share information, knowledge and ideas.  Who would have thought that so many different groups around the world are working on various technological approaches to capturing potable water from water vapor.  In an ideal world, some philanthropist or government would fund a project to develop a viable series of devices that could be employed in many parts of the globe.

This will never solve the water shortage problem globally, however, it may provide for drinking water and water for basic sanitation needs for a few million people here and there.  Just one more piece in a very large complex puzzle.
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