The SunGlacier project started as an art-meets-science project and now holds real world applications that can change how water resources are perceived. We are assembling a mobile – water from air – device that extracts 20 to 25 liters of fresh water per day. (in semi-desert conditions) This machine is designed to run on solar energy, but also can be plugged in the electrical grid.
This new water well supplies water for human consumption but also could be used for new applications, like off-grid farming. For the exhibition “De kunst van Brood” we build world’s first complete off-grid greenhouse. An double artist’s view to the circular economy: we grow grains in bread – and circulate all water.
We are honoured to announce that Mr. Tom Middendorp, Special Strategic Advisor, and former Chief of Dutch Defense is appointed as the new SunGlacier ambassador.
Tomorrow Mr. Middendorp will introduce the latest SunGlacier project: “From Bread to Flour”, at the PlanetarySecurity Conference in The Hague.This unique Art/Tech project is build in world’s first off-grid food production laboratory: water from air technology, growing lights and climate control, all powered by solar energy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last week we performed some very succesful tests in a climate room of the Dutch Ministry of Defense. We copied world’s most extreme climates and did research at the performance of our new machines. We smashed the limits of conventional technology. Soon more.
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:
Water is cooled down below dew point and then sprayed by a nozzle into a cylinder.
Air is drawn automatically into the cylinder by the falling water, and condensation begins instantly.
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.