WaterSeer could be the answer to water scarcity around the world
Researchers at VICI-Labs, in collaboration with UC Berkeley and the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), developed a device that condensates pure water from the air without the use of power or chemicals. The WaterSeer is an inexpensive, low-tech and low-maintenance condenser that is expected to create water self-sufficiency in communities around the world.
It uses a relatively simple mechanism, with an above-ground turbine that spins in the breeze, turning internal fan-blades and directing air down into a condensation chamber installed 1.8m (6 ft) underground. There, the metal sides of the chamber are cooled by surrounding soil and these in turn cool down the warm air inside the chamber. This causes the water vapor to condensate into liquid water flowing down into the reservoir. With the help of a pump, the potable water can be easily extracted and collected. Due to the fact that the sides of the underground chamber are always cooler than the air, WaterSeer can collect water during day and night, even with no wind. Under optimal conditions, it is estimated that it can yield up to 42L (11 gallons) of drinking water per day. A simple, sustainable and scalable way of providing water, at a cost of just $134.
The original WaterSeer model was tested as a prototype in the UC Berkeley Gill Tract Community Farm in April 2016, whereas the current model was finalized in August and will be field-tested in collaboration with the NPCA over the next 6 months, with the intent of shipping the final design within the next year. To support their idea and complete the design, the innovators are still running a rather successful crowdfunding campaign (the initial fundraising goal was exceeded in 20 days).
"Previous solutions based on condensation use a great deal of energy, usually in the form of diesel-powered compressors and evaporators. They are basically big air conditioners. Some use powerful and dangerous chemicals that can damage the immediate environment. They are also difficult to move, require high technical skills to operate, and expensive to operate and maintain. WaterSeer uses no power or chemicals of any kind. It is completely non-polluting and its simple construction is inexpensive and maintenance free", claim the innovators.