How can I collect water from air you might ask? Back in May of 2014, I had a problem with a very clogged drain pipe on my central heat and air unit at my shop. The drain tube was clogged beyond my ability to clear it and I ended up replacing the entire drain pipe. It seems I had forgotten to pour a little bleach through the pipe to kill the algae that forms there and the last few feet of pipe was blocked solid.
During the battle to repair this problem I realized how much chlorine and fluoride free water was just trickling down the drain. I came to realize that I’m paying good money to capture this pure water through the air chilling process, why not keep it. And that’s exactly what I did by adding a T fitting, a shutoff valve and a drip tube into the horizontal section of my drain pipe. With this setup I can collect the condensation produced during the cooling process. Draining the water to the sewer is as simple as closing the valve, but most of the time I collect it in five gallon buckets.
Now, while I heft these two big O buckets back and forth to my rain barrels every day, I couldn’t help but revel in my little discovery. Here in north Texas we deal with drought conditions quite often and my outside plants enjoy the regular watering with this mostly clean water.
Of course not all air conditioners are made the same, and different areas will have different results. But as far as I know, all refrigerant based chill units capture water through condensation, and then drain it off somewhere. It may be that all you need to do is catch it.
At the end of the summer when the air conditioner stopped running and water stopped collecting in my buckets it got me thinking. If an air conditioner collects water this well during the heat of summer, could a dehumidifier work in a similar way throughout the year? Another question is, can I collect water that is safe to drink? While I’m not afraid to water plants with the A/C waste water, I would not drink it.
Portable Power Distribution Board
My first 12 volt water from air experiment was actually three experiments in one. The first goal was to build a portable power distribution board to harness the power generated by the Stealth VAWT and to create a loaded circuit to see how the turbine would act when a demand was placed on the generator. The second part of the experiment revolved around refrigeration and the idea of cooling a small space. And the third expectation was the idea of collecting water from the condensation collected during the cooling process.
Water Cooled Peltier Module
While my first experiment in Peltier refrigeration wasn’t a total flop, it wasn’t all that successful either. So I thought the easiest way to get the temperatures down on the inside of the refrigerator would be to lower the temperature of the hot side of the Peltier’s with a CPU water cooling system.
Lets just forget about the fridge, and Focus on Water
After the water cooling system was added to the Peltier modules, the refrigerator was actually working fairly well. But still no water was being collected. So I decided to focus on collecting water from air rather than chilling objects in a cooler. And if the condensation is collected on copper surfaces, would that water be safe to drink? I think so, and that’s why I’ve been tinkering with gadgets that might allow me to collect water from air for human consumption. Water that can be used in cooking, or just enjoyed on a hot summer day. It would also be a good thing if the water collector could be portable as well. And maybe it could run off of currents that are common as portable power sources, like that from a car. But in the meantime I’m running my water from air experiments off of the current generated from my power pod, which is also a twelve volt system.
How do I collect water from air? I use my homemade atmospheric water generator. I have more parts on order to improve my rainmaker.
Please visit again to see what improvements have been made.
Life continues without technology, but nothing lives without water.
Just in case your curious about the blue box on the power board, it’s a boost cap module I use as a battery. It’s small but powerful!