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Harvesting drinking water from the air with the power of space

09-29-2021 03:12 PM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: Photovoltaic for Europe

Harvesting drinking water from the air with the power of space

Obtaining fresh drinking water from the air has been very energy intensive for a long time. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now invented a current less technology that uses the cooling of space for this.

The new device essentially consists of a specially coated pane of glass that both reflects solar radiation and radiates its own heat into space via the atmosphere. As a result, it cools down to 15 degrees Celsius below the ambient temperature. On the underside of this disk, water vapor from the air condenses to form water. I have published a dew point calculator
for this.

The Swiss researchers want to bring this technology to the south. It would be ideal to propagate such radiative cooling. So not only fields could be irrigated with water. At the same time, the fields could be cooled by up to 15 ° C, thus ensuring a good harvest. The heat stress is already causing enormous crop failures.

It’s also a bit of a moral obligation, because our wealth also comes from burning fossil fuels. However, the rising temperatures are increasingly affecting the poorer south. These radiation coolers represent a CO2 compensation, as the effect of the CO2 can be compensated in this way.

Relieving women from the burden of collecting water by providing a faucet for every household could enable them to contribute 122 million additional working days per year to the global economy

Women and girls can also benefit from this, as drinking water often involves a considerable amount of work in the south. Making southern communities resilient to heat waves and slowing down refugee movements has tremendous benefits, and one dollar invested in water resilience can translate into a return of $ 21, as detailed in the FT article .

If you would like to support this and other solar radiation management techniques, please contact me
Photovoltaic for Europe
Sieveringerstrasse 28
A-1190 Vienna
+43 2252 256 361

Through a family business founded in 1985, I have been working independently with subsidiaries companies, for over 20 years in the field of computer science and renewable energies.

Even as a child, I was fascinated by the family's small hydropower plant in Styria and since then I have been in flames for sustainable solutions

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