Imagine you went for a trek and realized that you have run out of the water to drink. What do you do? Fontus, a self-filling water bottle, can use solar energy to convert air into drinking water! The basic principle of this bottle is to absorb humid air, separate those water molecules from the air molecules and obtain safe drinking water.
The device harvests up to 0,5 liters in an hour when under the right climatic conditions. it is useful for long bike journeys as well as in world regions where freshwater is scarce yet humidity is high.
For the process of condensation, hot and humid air is supposed to be cooled down.
The solar powered device is contoured by a condenser to carry out this process. A small cooler, called Peltier Element is also installed in the center of the device. The cooler is divided into two parts that are isolated and separated from each other. When the condenser is powered by solar electricity, the upper side gets cooled down and increases the temperature of the bottom side. The bottom side on cooling down helps the upper side to cool down even further. This is done by dissipating heat into the surroundings. When the upper chamber is invaded by air from the surroundings, it is slowed down by small perforated ‘walls’. This action provides enough time for water molecules to be collected from it.
Through the new found fame and publicity from the presentation of Fontus at the James Dyson Award, Retezár wishes to set up a crowdfunding campaign. The Austrian government is financing the Fontus at the moment. The retail price for the Fontus is aimed under $100. It could be commercially available in about 9 or 10 months.
Retezár has also released a stand-alone version that uses an inverted ventilator to suck air into the system. This is instead of relying on the airstream created from a moving bike. This next generation version could be used in regions of the world where humidity is high, but water is scarce.
It is on their planning to increase new application specific products and scale up this technology into larger platforms that will be able to solve larger problems on our planet. This concept is still under test and trials. Imagine how much we can achieve, specially when stranded in deserts or away from any water source - and yet survive and avoid dehydration.