What goes up, must come down.

The whole world held its’ breath when Cape Town threatened to fall dry last year. But who could have imagined that a country like Sweden only one year later turned into a dry savannah, plagued by forest fires. Or that in The Netherlands most of the rivers have changed into small streams, winding through a yellow and withered landscape.

Europe and many other parts of the Northern Hemisphere have been affected by high temperatures and drought with conditions of apocalyptic proportions. Records continue to be broken, multiple times, everywhere.

Warm air is capable to contain more water. The total amount of rain decreases with increasing temperatures. But while storms are weakening, convective rain cells are intensifying. When the floodgates of  heaven open the showers only give temporary relief. The damage in The Netherlands is calculated in years, and a drought period next year will have cumulative consequences. The salty water of the North Sea flows up the low rivers and below the dunes to reclaim its territory.

“Dutch Wetlands”. Picture taken near Eindhoven, accompanied by Peter Glas, Chair Water Board De Dommel (NL), President OECD Water Governance Initiative.

We have not seen better climate conditions for harvesting water from the air than before now. More drought means more sunshine (free energy) and higher temperatures mean more available water to harvest. We already predicted these developments for more than a decade and since 2010 we have gained enormous knowledge about optimizing the “water from air” technology. Probably in the upcoming months we can leap the final hurdles and present our technology to the market.

In my personal view it is 5 past 12, but we still have options for the future of this planet. My motto has never changed: “embrace your enemy”. As the climate changes, we will have no other option left but to use most of the changes to our advantage.

Try-Out SunGlacier Challenge in Oman a great succes

some of the Challenge devices

To encourage university students to develop creative solutions to of the most serious effects of climate change – drought – the SunGlacier team organized a challenge for them to harvest water from air. With an inexpensive Peltier cooler  that is found in all types of laptop computers, the students were tasked with maximizing the amount that could be extracted from air, even in this dry region. SunGlacier believes in action over discussion, because the world urgently needs bright ideas to cope with the realities of a rapidly-changing climate. Future generations will need to implement new solutions in ways that are difficult to imagine at present, and young adults can also find joy in pushing the borders of science in this Try-Out. We hope for this to be just the beginning, with the collective power of fresh minds leading the way on new possibilities. Success in this could have far-reaching benefits for thirsty people in dry lands.

 

The finish of the SunGlacier Challenge.

The team of Windesheim University of applied sciences joined with 4 excellent devices that harvested water from air, in more extreme conditions, than expected. The Sultan Qaboos University Team displayed 2 devices that impressed by their creative designs. Many thanks to Wetskills and Sultan Qaboos University for the excellent organisation. Further thanks to Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Medrc (location) and PDO. Our personal thanks goes to Dr. Ahmed Al-Busaidi, and Nicolina Becx.

Nienke Bregman, member of the Windesheim Team inspects the first water drops.

 

Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al-Said (in blue) attended the Challenge opening

 

 

 

 

 

 

SunGlacier Challenge in Oman – World Water Day

Next to our new Droppler technology, we have still high expectations about harvesting water from air using cheap Peltier devices. Several international university teams will be present in Oman to battle for the SunGlacier Challenge. (March 2018) All student teams use an equal 250 Watt solar panel to produce water from air with a Peltier device.

Photo: Ap Verheggen presents the Peltier Technology to the main sponsor – PDO (Petroleum Development Oman),  accompanied by the organisation of the Sultan Qaboos University – Muscat.

Photo: Discussing the SunGlacier Challenge at MEDRC Headquarters, Muscat.
Medrc supports the Challenge by offering solar panels and space for the SunGlacier Challenge.

An inventive drought solution that will turn deserts green

Need for water: Climate change is forcing new thought on innovations in facing drier conditions in vast areas of the globe. Scientists can’t yet determine the outcome of our planet’s climate, so we only can respond to what we see now to help us and future generations survive.

What we are: This is the world’s most efficient system of harvesting water from air. SunGlacier began as an art-meets-science project and now holds real world applications that can change how water resources are perceived. Our team is maximizing a new and natural configuration of sunlight, air and gravity that can produce potable water from air nearly anywhere on the planet, even in hot and dry deserts. This revolutionary patent-pending technology has demonstrated stunning success in first laboratory tests. One prototype is housed within an industrial model, and the other demonstrator is based in a modern sculpture designed by Dutch artist and SunGlacier project creator, Ap Verheggen.

How it works: On an April 2017 testing mission in the hot Mali desert, our team found that with current condensation technology using cooling surfaces, too much water is lost by evaporation. This inspired us to design a much more effective system that functions without the loss of evaporation. The new SunGlacier Watermaker TM01 system is far more energy efficient, and has no cooling surfaces or moving parts except for a small water pump.

The TM01 water harvesting process:

  1. Water is cooled down below dew point and then sprayed by a nozzle into a cylinder.
  2. Air is drawn automatically into the cylinder by the falling water, and condensation begins instantly.
  3. The volume increases rapidly, and harvested water is collected in a reservoir ready for use.

 

Water circulation in the system is cooled constantly over a 24-hour period through the use of fluids that can store low temperatures. These fluids are cooled by solar energy during daylight, and therefore only a small battery is needed to circulate the water. This simple but effective off-grid water production system can be built cheaply.

Potential applications: The water produced can be used for drinking, with the addition of minerals, and for agriculture. Numerous other applications are also possible where water is urgently needed. In addition, the system is sustainable as water harvested from the air is merely “borrowed” for a relatively brief time. Water consumed by humans returns to the natural cycle within a matter of hours, and approximately 90% of water used for agricultural applications also is also quickly recycled into the air through evaporation.

The next steps: This is indeed a theoretical breakthrough in water resource technology. Now that the first design steps have been realized, a new series of tests is taking place with an industrial-sized prototype in a variable climate room in the Netherlands. With the results of this advanced testing, a technical production partner will be sought to optimize and build the systems for applications in areas of need around the world. This SunGlacier Watermaker system can then spark a truly unique and effective range of solutions for adapting to climate impacts in dry areas of need nearly anywhere.

We have discovered the missing puzzle piece to build a new kind of water well!

Sunshine, gravity and air – three natural things that are free to everyone. We are applying these elements to their maximum potential (together in a unique way) to contribute to the solution of the earth’s main problem: fresh, clean water availability

A project of waterfalls to help fill world water supplies.

How it works: We use a bit of water to produce (much) more water through condensation. A condensation surface is no longer needed. The process is done through cooling down a small cascade of water below dew point, and then with gravity, the surrounding air is drawn into the water that is falling. The cascade cools the outside air down and the moisture is instantly condensed against the falling drops of water!

Solar panels are inexpensive, as is the cooler unit used in the project. This unit generates cold during the day and stores it in mass volumes. It takes only a small amount of energy to circulate the water during the evening, the night and the early morning. This is far more effective in generating water because it is not necessary to cool the water as much as needed during a hot day. In addition, if there is energy available, these highly-efficient machines can run as well during an entire day. This tested innovative technology works even efficient at temperatures above 50 Celcius. (122 F)

Our project features:
– Generation of potable water from surrounding air
– Inexpensive drinking water for anyone everywhere on the planet
– Breakthrough technology applying natural elements as never before
– Realizing possibilities of agriculture production in desert areas

This truly innovative technology is based on simple natural concepts, so machines can be made relatively inexpensively.

The board of DCHI (Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation) expressed its support and commitment to jointly explore the value of SunGlacier in the humanitarian context. ( See the letter of support. ) DCHI consists of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Municipality of The Hague, the Netherlands Red Cross, CARE Netherlands, UNICEF Netherlands, and VNO-NCW.

The project will be presented to the public on 7 September 2017 at the Making Waves event in the Netherlands with Kofi Anan, former UN Secretary General, and General Tom Middendorp, Dutch Chief of Defence.