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Water out of thin air! A 'waterfall which never stops'.

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by: Hans van der Broek
water out of thin air  a  waterfall which never stops

Making dozens of gallons of a few liters of water in a dry desert. According to designer Ap Verheggen, his new device is capable of that. 'If I present it to technologists and scientists, they will fall back in surprise: never seen, but this really works!' The first step towards the discovery, Verheggen set up in the spring of 2017 on a Dutch base in Mali. There he tried to make water by cooling a metal plate with solar energy to below the dew point of the air; the temperature at which water vapor condenses in the air.
Testing the SunGlacier TM01 in Mali dessert with 2 man
What should have happened? 

Condensate drips that dripped down the cone and came into a bowl. But in practice the drops - as far as they formed - did not catch the tray, especially at high temperatures. 'Whatever we did, the drops evaporated almost immediately.'

Back in the Netherlands

Verheggen and his colleague Peter van Geloven got the idea to leave cold water on the plate during condensation. Measurements in a climate chamber showed that the condensation water did not evaporate: it flowed down with the cold water. 'A snowball effect, as it were. The explanations for this are complicated, but the measurements show that it works.
We have now also received a patent for it. ' A lot of attention After a new device, SunGlacier TM01 has been christened, it no longer uses flat sheets. Water from a barrel is now cooled to below the dew point and sprayed into a long pipe. Warm air is automatically sucked in and cools down to below the dew point. This produces condensation water that joins the water flow. 'It is a waterfall that keeps growing and is being taken care of in a reservoir.

We have tested a prototype in a climate chamber and it shows that it really works. ' Verheggen wants to grant licenses to companies to build the SunGlacier soon. 'There are companies that want to get started with this; the interest is great. Among others, Defense and the Red Cross are interested. Meanwhile, the experiments in Mali continue to gnaw Verheggen. He therefore holds the SunGlacier Challenge in Oman at the end of March. There, fifteen student teams from eight different countries will try to solve the 'evaporation problem' of Verheggen. 'I am very curious whether it can be done with something like a cooled plate.'
 
By: Jeroen Akkermans

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World traveler, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Has countless ideas and set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. Has an opinion about everything and unlimited thoughts about a better world. He likes hiking and climbed numerous 5.000 m.
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World traveler, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Has countless ideas and set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. Has an opinion about everything and unlimited thoughts about a better world. He likes hiking and climbed numerous 5.000 m.
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Water out of thin air! A 'waterfall which never stops'.

Making dozens of gallons of a few liters of water in a dry desert. According to designer Ap Verheggen, his new device is capable of that. 'If I present it to technologists and scientists, they will fall back in surprise: never seen, but this really works!' The first step towards the discovery, Verheggen set up in the spring of 2017 on a Dutch base in Mali. There he tried to make water by cooling a metal plate with solar energy to below the dew point of the air; the temperature at which water vapor condenses in the air. What should have happened?  Condensate drips that dripped down the cone and came into a bowl. But in practice the drops - as far as they formed - did not catch the tray, especially at high temperatures. 'Whatever we did, the drops evaporated almost immediately.' Back in the Netherlands Verheggen and his colleague Peter van Geloven got the idea to leave cold water on the plate during condensation. Measurements in a climate chamber showed that the condensation water did not evaporate: it flowed down with the cold water. 'A snowball effect, as it were. The explanations for this are complicated, but the measurements show that it works. We have now also received a patent for it. ' A lot of attention After a new device, SunGlacier TM01 has been christened, it no longer uses flat sheets. Water from a barrel is now cooled to below the dew point and sprayed into a long pipe. Warm air is automatically sucked in and cools down to below the dew point. This produces condensation water that joins the water flow. 'It is a waterfall that keeps growing and is being taken care of in a reservoir. We have tested a prototype in a climate chamber and it shows that it really works. ' Verheggen wants to grant licenses to companies to build the SunGlacier soon. 'There are companies that want to get started with this; the interest is great. Among others, Defense and the Red Cross are interested. Meanwhile, the experiments in Mali continue to gnaw Verheggen. He therefore holds the SunGlacier Challenge in Oman at the end of March. There, fifteen student teams from eight different countries will try to solve the 'evaporation problem' of Verheggen. 'I am very curious whether it can be done with something like a cooled plate.'   By: Jeroen Akkermans