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Kristof RETEZAR

Fontus Air Well







http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/profile/retezar/

Fontus



Fontus is a self-filling water bottle for your bicycle. This device collects the moisture contained in the air, condenses it and stores it as safe drinking water. Powered by solar cells, it can harvest up to 0,5 l water in an hour´s time under the right climatic conditions.
Kristof Retezár

Industrial Design
University of Applied Arts Vienna ( Austria )

The Inspiration

According to UN statistics, More than 2 billion people in more than 40 countries live in regions with water scarcity. In 2030, 47% of the world´s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Water scarcity may be the most underestimated resource issue facing the world today. Every measure to ease this upcoming crisis is a welcome one.

Harvesting water from the air is a method that has been practised for more than 2000 years in certain cultures mostly in Asia and Central America. The Earth’s atmosphere contains around 13.000 km3 of mostly unexploited freshwater. This project is an attempt to discover these resources.

My goal was to create a small, compact and self-sufficient device able to absorb humid air, separate water molecules from air molecules and store water in liquid form in a bottle.

Stages of Development

I conducted a series of experiments trying to identify the ideal conditions, materials and cooling systems. I simulated different climatic conditions in my bathroom, modifying the air temperature and humidity. After more than 30 experiments, I finally achieved a constant drop-flow of one drop of condensed water per minute. After developing a functioning inner system, I designed a compact and practical hull which can be easily attached to a bicycle, integrates the water bottle and can be comfortably handled.

The Function

Fontus can be applied in two different areas. Firstly, it may be interpreted as a sporty bicycle accessory. Useful on long bike tours, the constant search for freshwater sources such as rivers and gas stations can cease to be an issue since the bottle automatically fills itself up.

Secondly, it might be a clever way of acquiring freshwater in regions of the world where groundwater is scarce but air humidity is high. Experiments suggest that the bottle could harvest around 0,5l water in one hour's time in regions with high temperature and humidity values.

How it works:

In order to achieve condensation, one must cool hot, humid air down. The device has a small cooler installed in its centre called Peltier Element. This cooler is divided in two: When powered by electricity, the upper side cools down and the bottom side gets hot. The more you cool the hot side down, the colder the upper side will get. Consequently, these two sides are separated and isolated from each other.

The air enters the bottom chamber at a high speed when moving forward with the bike and cools the hot side down. Moreover, when the air enters the upper chamber it is stopped by little walls perforated non-linearly, reducing its speed in order to give the air the needed time to lose its water molecules.

The condensing structure represents the largest surface in the smallest space possible. This provides a large surface for condensation to happen. Droplets then flow through a pipe into a bottle. The bottle can then be turned to a vertical position and losened. Every kind of PET 0,5l bottle fits.













http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2839124/The-bottle-makes-water-appear-AIR-Gadget-uses-solar-energy-collect-moisture-flask-ride-bike.html
18 November 2014

The bottle that 'makes' water out of THIN AIR: Gadget uses solar energy to collect moisture in a flask as you ride your bike

by

Sarah Griffiths

It’s every cyclist’s nightmare – discovering that they have run out of water half way up a hill on a sweltering day.

But the days of topping up water bottles may soon be over, now that one designer has created a bottle that collects and condenses moisture from the air while a bike is in motion.

The ‘Fontus’ bottle uses the principle of thermoelectric cooling to fill up with water when attached to a bike frame (pictured). It's named after the Roman god of wells and springs

Kristof Retezár, an industrial design student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna came up with the idea, and a finalist in the 2014 James Dyson Award.

Named after the Roman god of wells and springs, the upper part of the bottle holder is cooled by electricity generated by solar panels, while the bottom heats up.

This means that as the bike moves, air is sucked inside and moves through the upper chamber of the holder, where it cools down. The air condenses into water and drips into the bottle attatched below.

‘Useful on long bike tours, the constant search for freshwater sources such as rivers and gas stations can cease to be an issue since the bottle automatically fills itself up,’ he wrote on the James Dyson Award website.

The upper part of the bottle is cooled by electricity generated by solar panels, while the bottom heats up. This means that as the bike moves, air is sucked inside and moves through the upper chamber of the bottle, where it cools down. It condenses into water and drips into the bottle (a cross section of the design is shown)

The upper part of the bottle is cooled by electricity generated by solar panels, while the bottom heats up. This means that as the bike moves, air is sucked inside and moves through the upper chamber of the bottle, where it cools down. It condenses into water and drips into the bottle (a cross section of the design is shown)

HOW DOES FONTUS WORK?

The bike-mounted device that the bottle attaches to, has a small cooler at its centre called Peltier Element.

This cooler is divided in two. Solar panels generate electricity to cool the upper part down, while the bottom side warms up.

As air enters the bottom chamber of the bottle at high speed - when the bike is moving forwards - the hot side of the device is cooled down, which in turn cools the cold side further.

When the air enters the top chamber it is stopped with 'little walls' that are perforated, and the water condenses.

Droplets flow through a pope into the bottle, which can be turned into a vertical position and loosened.

Any standard 500ml bottle can be used.

Mr Retezár said that the device can harvest half a litre of water in an hour under the right climatic conditions - in temperatures of around 20°C (68°F) and 50 per cent humidity.

The bottle has a filter to keep dust out of the water, but does not yet purify it, which may be important the Fontus bottle is used in a polluted city.

He told The Huffington Post that the prototype cost between $25 (£16) and $40 (£26) to make, but he plans on refining the design before bringing it to market and setting a price for consumers.

Mr Retezár has not ruled out raising money via crowdfunding and aside from consumer cycling applications, believes the product could be used to acquire fresh water in regions of the world where groundwater is scarce but air humidity is high.

‘Harvesting water from the air is a method that has been practised for more than 2,000 years in certain cultures mostly in Asia and Central America,’ he said.

‘The Earth’s atmosphere contains around 8,077 cubic miles (13,000 km3) of mostly unexploited freshwater. This project is an attempt to discover these resources.’

The bottle may be able to help the two billion people in more than 40 countries who live in regions with water scarcity. It is predicted that 47 per cent of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress in 2030.

Industrial design student, Mr Retezár said that the device can harvest half a litre of water in an hour under the right climatic conditions - in temperatures of around 20°C (68°F) and 50 per cent humidity. A diagram of the different parts of the device is shown.



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