SunGlacier is invited to perform experiments in the deserts of Mali. The Dutch Chief of Defence, general Tom Middendorp made the official announcement. This will be the ultimate challenge to harvest solar water from hot and dry desert air.
All technology is published on the SunGlacier website
The 20-inch cube of stainless steel is embedded with solar cells that power a refrigeration device, which in turn cools off an inverted cone to create condensation. Gravity then drips accumulated condensate into a glass to provide fresh drinking water. The challenge was to cool down the cone to just above freezing point without using a huge amount of energy. After several trials we managed to achieve that goal with 25 Watts of energy. The small solar panels on the top and sides of the cube produce 40 Watts, which allows to store excess energy in batteries for less sunny conditions. With the SunGlacier team we are doing research to find more solutions for cooling down surfaces in its most efficient way, off-grid, powered by solar, easy to scale up, and cheap to produce. Many people need to enjoy their own source of drinking water in the future, especially in drought-hit areas. Next to this device, we are developing a system that doesn’t have moving parts, perfectly to use for open agriculture. Later more about this new project.
Ap Verheggen, SunGlacier’s creative mind, just returned from Iran where he joined a unique Wetskills event. Ap is appointed as an ambassdor and student coordinator for the Wetskills organisation, that mix Dutch and local students, in order to find “out of the box” solutions for real life water related challenges. Many countries already participated before in the Wetskills events: United States, Great-Brittain, India, South Africa, Taiwan, etc..
Following two weeks of hard work, cooperation and fun, the fice Wetskills teams presented their pitches and posters of this Wetskills Water Challenge in Iran. The ideas pitched were vastly ranging from technical solutions to give more time in adapting lifestyle for Rafsajan pistachio farmers to integrating sensor technology to create awareness by installing a large flamingo in Lake Urmia, reacting to water level, to entice inhabitants to a race to fill up the lake. A nice new introduction of rice farming in combination with dredging was given as solution for silting up of Anzali port and peach juice production as alternative livelihoods for the Hashgerd plain included a good sense of community work and regional economy development. Missing links were noticed in society and technology for the case of clean drinking water and by closing the gaps a solution was found.
Minister of Environment and Infrastructure of Kingdom of The Netherlands, Ms. Schultz van Haegen (middle) announced and awarded the winning team of Wetskills-Iran.
Scientists from several universities in South Africa visited the SunGlacier sculpture at Museum Beelden aan Zee. They were suprised by the amount of water that the sculpture produced. South Africa is hit by drought as well, and these young generation experts were impressed by the SunGlacier technology.
We succeeded to produce Solar Water without a fan, a battery nor a convertor: directly attached to a solar panel. This means that we just made the first steps in the development of an extremely cheap Solar Water device with no maintenance at all. There are no moving parts anymore that can break.
A few years ago I made a sketch: Solar Circles that produce water out of air. At that time it was my vision to put them in a field and they produce water to keep everything green. Hopefully we soon find the finance to take the next steps. We already proved that it really works. Soon an update.