By David Ponce
Oh supermodels… It’s well known they don’t eat and really only absorb moisture from the air. Kind of like this air moisture harvester that’s so useful it recently won its inventor, Edward Linnacre, this year’s James Dyson Award. Meant to be used in places where the lack of rain brings devastating droughts, the Airdrop (as it’s called) works in the following way:
With a deceptively modest design, Airdrop filters hot environmental air through a turbine, feeding it through a copper tubing system–with copper wool to maximize surface area–and into the earth where it cools and releases moisture. The dry air is then re-released into the atmosphere and the collected water pumped through semi-porous hoses to the plant roots. In his initial prototype, which was much smaller than the current design, Linnacre was able to produce a liter of water per day.
Currently a prototype that is likely to be much smaller than any production model, the Airdrop is able to harvest 1 liter of water per day. The technology used makes it very simple to install and maintain and it’s hoped it will be used by farmers in drought affected areas.
Linnacre will be receiving £10,000 (and another £10,000 for his university) to further development of the Airdrop. As mostly poor farmers would benefit from this, it’s unlikely he’d be able to get any traction on social funding sites like Kickstarter, which are usually visited by people with easy access to tap water.