Solar Powered Fountain Makes Its Own Water

Solar Fountain - Desert Cascades

Solar powered fountains are a common feature in residential ponds these days, but here’s one that also makes its own water.

Dutch artist Ap Verheggen unveiled his Desert Cascades sculpture at the Beelden aan Zee museum in the Scheveningen district of The Hague, Holland on Earth day last week.

The art project harvests water from the surrounding air and is powered by a couple of solar panels and batteries.

Water extracted from the air by a dehumidifier collects in a reservoir  and is pumped to the top of the sculpture; from where it shoots out up to a height of 6 metres at intervals dictated by weather conditions.

On a sunny summer day in Netherlands this would happen once or twice an hour. In desert conditions, it would occur up to 3 – 4 times an hour.

How the solar fountain works

While the fountain only creates a couple of litres a water a day currently, the following graph shows the potential of the dehumidifier (condensor) used for the project if run 24 hours a day.

Dehumidifier water production

Operating under expected summer conditions of 25C, a relative humidity of 80% and 10 hours of daylight to power the system, Mr. Verheggen says the installation could produce 5.8 liters of water a day.

Practical? Nope, but it was never meant to be. Aside from the art aspect, the Desert Cascades concept aims to show people around the world the possibilities of harvesting water out of the air.

“For a price of $1000 you can produce a lot of water using existing off the shelf technologies,” says Mr. Verheggen.

“This is ultimately a work of art that hopefully can contribute to new ideas and visions to relieve future water shortages.”

You can learn more about the project at the SunGlacier website.

Atmospheric water generators (AWG’s) in various forms are creating significant interest as some parts of the world grapple with declining water resources.

In 2011, an Australian university student won the James Dyson award for Airdrop – a solar and wind power assisted device that extracts moisture from the air for irrigation purposes.

According to Global Market Insights, Inc. the AWG market size is anticipated to reach USD 9.3 billion by 2022.