In 2040, 33 countries are expected to face extreme water stress, so the race to develop innovative solutions to produce drinking water is even more important. Ap Verheggen has been at the forefront of solar experiments for the past few years. His latest concept is WaterDrop, a portable solar powered device that produces water by condensation. Ap acknowledges that the concept sounds a bit like science fiction, but solar technology has made great strides in recent years, so it’s worth taking a closer look.
” If temperatures rise, the air contains more water, ” says Ap on his blog. “ Normally, higher temperatures also mean more sun. So why not focus on condensing water from the air, powered solely by solar energy? In this way, drinking water and water for agriculture will be available to most of the driest places on the planet ”.
The photovoltaic modules on the outside of the device would absorb solar energy during the day. This energy would be used to cool the air and thus produce condensation, feeding a fan to circulate the air. In theory, the resulting water droplets could be collected in a small reservoir. Ap recommends incorporating small stones into the design to add much needed minerals, while a water filter would be placed at the peak of the device.
” We know that it is still science fiction “, says Ap, “but surely the increase in efficiency in photovoltaic cells, (just a matter of time) together with the development of new materials will help the design of all these types of devices” .