Researchers estimate about four billion people throughout the world are (or will soon be) faced with shortages of fresh water. Contributing factors like deforestation and climate change are reportedly accelerating the situation’s severity, making the need to utilize and preserve alternate methods of supplying people with fresh water increasingly imminent with each passing day.
One company has taken it upon themselves to make this their top priority.
Based in the Netherlands, SunGlacier is a company focused on finding different ways to utilize new methods of water accumulation and conservation that’s come out with a new product, which does just that. SunGlacier’s new product, the DC03, is a cheap solar-powered device that literally creates water out of thin air. The secret behind the DC03’s method is an 18-watt Peltier element, which is a small thin square piece that becomes hot on one side and cold on another when it’s connected to an electric current. The Peltier element of the DC03 reaches a maximum temperature of 67 degrees Celsius (152.5 degrees Fahrenheit), and can produce about a half-cup of water every six hours.
When the Peltier element is connected to an electric current (usually coming from a solar panel), the sides of the Peltier element heat up and cool down, during which the process of condensation occurs. The water droplets that accumulate form on the outside of an aluminum cone that’s connected to the colder side of the Peltier element, where they run down and are collected in a cup or other kind of water-catch.
The DC03 lacks any mobile or interchangeable parts, which makes it exempt from suffering mechanical breakdowns or any type of degradation over time. As a result, the DC03 doesn’t need regulating devices like batteries, fans, or inverters, making it completely self-sufficient. The device’s lifespan relies on a 30 to 50-watt solar panel, which could last years before anything needs to be fixed or replaced, and also incorporates a step-down converter, which regulates the Peltier voltage to keep it within a safe range of 12 volts.
With hopes of finding new ways to further enhance this device, SunGlacier is offering blueprints of the DC03 to the public for free. They can be downloaded on their website where people can construct their own DC03 models and make their own modifications aimed at improving the device, which they’re encouraged to share with the company and other people.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)