What if you were cycling and got thirsty? simple, as long as your bottle is filled with water all you need do is reach out and have a drink, when its out of water, you cycle to the nearest store to get one, now what if you are miles away from home, and there’s no store nearby? what do you do? that’s where this gadget comes in.
Kristof Retezár, an Austrian industrial designer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna has invented a water bottle that converts air into drinkable water, this isn’t magic, its science, precisely the principle of condensation.
This is simply condensation of the humidity that is contained in the air. You always have a certain percentage of humidity in the air, it doesn’t matter where you are, even in the desert. That means you would always potentially be able to extract that humidity from the air.
Dubbed “Fontus”, This solar powered gadget collects and condenses moisture from the air while a bicycle is in motion, it then passes through the device and a series of hydrophobic surfaces that repel water, this turns the water vapor into actual droplets of water from which the bottle attached to the bike frame is filled up. It can produce 0.5 liters of water in an hour in favorable conditions, i.e humid environments anywhere between 86 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and between 80% and 90% humidity. “Because they’re hydrophobic, they immediately repel the condensed water that they created, so you get a drop flow,” Retezár said. “Basically, you’re taking air in a vapor state and converting it into a liquid state.”
According to Retezár this product works best in hot and humid weather i.e when temperatures hit 20 degrees Celsius (or about 68 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity gets to 50 percent. At that point, within a minute the product produces about a drop of water.
Even though the prototype includes a filter at the top to keep dust and bugs out of the water, it currently does not include a way to filter out harmful contaminants, Retezar hopes to rectify this in the future with a carbon filter.
The water you get is clean, unless the air is really contaminated. We’re thinking about making a bottle that also has a carbon filter, and this one would be for cities or areas where you might think the air is contaminated. But originally, this water bottle was thought to be used in nature, and places where you wouldn’t have contaminated air.
Retezár is also working on a stand-alone version that could be used in regions of the world where humidity is high but water is scarce, rather than relying on the airstream created from a moving bike, it will use an inverted ventilator to suck air into the system. “The idea was to solve a global problem: water issues in areas of the world where there is very little groundwater but very high humidity,” Retezár said. “My intent was to invent a machine or device that would be able to filter the humidity in the air and turn it into drinkable water.”
For now Fontus is still a work in progress, but Retezár envisions this device to go beyond the world of cycling, For example in places where water is scarce or contaminated but with the right climatic conditions, a product like Fontus could be used to generate water in such places.
Retezár plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign so as to bring Fontus to the market by the fall. He aims at keeping the retail price under $100.