According to water.org, one in every ten people on our planet lack access to safe water. This is precisely the reason why artist Ap Verheggen’s latest effort is highly commendable, as he has successfully devised a method to create water out of thin air even in the driest regions of the globe.
Verheggen and his SunGlacier team, with the help of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, have recently designed groundbreaking Desert Twins, which can condense moisture in the air even in places like the Sahara Desert. The artist has done it all, from creating a glacier to a solar-powered waterfall in the middle of a desert. But this was probably SunGlacier’s toughest challenge.
The Desert Twins are two devices where one condenses the water and the other provides the energy to create the required temperature difference between the collector surface and the air, which needs to be nearly 50 degrees in the arid conditions of Sahara. The Sunglacier team writes the struggle on their website,
“….. We built the “Desert Twins” especially for this occasion. One of them is the water maker, which runs with the same power as a small car light, the other one contains our energy unit, which stores the solar power.”
They faced a lot of challenges in extracting the water, both conceptually and with the failing hardware. The team had to tinker with the specifications and add insulation to the cooling air streams before they finally succeeded in their mission.
The team adds on the website,
“Finally, on the fourth day, we succeeded in cooling the ambient air inside the box to such an extent that condensation could take place and something other than steam was possible. We opened the box, removed the insulation and saw, for the first time, actual liquid water. We had finally succeeded!”
SunGlacier says their device is
“probably the world’s first artificial water well to work entirely off the grid.”
SunGlacier hopes they can build on this technology and add aspects of water storage, cleaning, and mineral enriching to the design to help the people living in the water scarce areas.