Water shortage is no longer an isolated issue that affects only a small portion of the world population. According to a 2016 report, published in Science Advances, nearly two-thirds of the global populace (around 4 billion people) have to endure at least one month of extreme water scarcity every year. The World Economic Forum has identified this menace as one of the three greatest threats to humans and economies in the coming decade.
In the face of such crisis, we all need to do our part in alleviating the problem. Ap Verheggen, the man behind SunGlacier, has set out to ensure just that. Over the last ten years or so, this Netherlands-based innovator has meticulously developed plans of a variety of contraptions that rely on sun’s energy to extract water from the atmosphere. Among the designs, which are now available online for anyone to peruse for free, is DC03, a solar-powered device that uses a Peltier element to harvest clean water daily.
What’s truly impressive about this machine is that it runs without the help of batteries, inverter, fans or even moving components. Thanks to its ingenious design, DC03 can harness sun’s energy to power a 18W Peltier element all on its own. Speaking about his creation, Verheggen explained:
A Peltier element is a very small and thin square piece of electronics. If you connect it to electricity, it becomes hot at one side, and cold at the other side. The cold side we use to cool a cone. As the air comes at the cool cone, moisture in the air starts to condensate and produces water drops.
The extricated water is then allowed to fall, via gravity, into whatever container is there to collect it. As pointed out by the developer, the upper “hot” section and the lower “cool” portion of the Peltier unit have a temperature difference of approximately 67 degrees Celsius (max). This means that hotter air can generate larger amounts of water than slightly cooler air, making the device perfect for use in desert conditions.
Given its current specifications, DC03 can produce a little over half-a-glass of clean water every six hours or so. Since it does not require any battery, it needs to be operated during the day. Verheggen has made the design, with the intention of encouraging innovators around the world to try and fine-tune the device. So far, several research institutions, organizations and universities in South Africa, the Netherlands, Romania and Iran have expressed interest in collaborating with Verheggen.
To learn more about DC03, head over to SunGlacier’s official website.