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Air Well - collecting water from the air

 
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Alex,

Start a new thread in the cider press.  Maybe quote from some bits here to get your new thread started.
 
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Clever solution
 
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Bill mentioneed wildlife guzzlers which are comon in our area as well. The majority of the collection being from rain and snow, however those made with metal roofing do scavenge dew as well. several diffrent styles and configurations. some collect the water under the panel in an enclosed vessel and the trough component has a float valve to draw water from the reservoir as the trough empties, preventing  some evaporation.


Bill Bradbury wrote:We use these ingenious devices called guzzlers to provide water for wildlife in the west deserts where I grew upwildlife guzzlers

guzzler.jpg
[Thumbnail for guzzler.jpg]
 
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Cassie said "At its simpliest an air well is a structure or a device that collects water from the air using condensation



I am a firm believer that rocks are one of the best examples of this and this is why air wells work.

What are some other ways to collect water from the air?

What about water vapor collection and fog collection:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_water_generator


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog_collection

Since this thread is about Air Wells has anyone seen water collecting Air Wells?  Where are these air wells?

Do Air Wells really work?
 
Robert Ray
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Meanwhile in Oregon.
https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/technology/clean-drinking-water-source-global/283-64710547-ceef-4c61-a4ef-a38268a55566
 
John C Daley
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How do those guzzlers work, I live in a dry forest and I have big bird drinkers, but out in the forest more could be used.
How are the fed?
Do they evaporate dry?
 
Robert Ray
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John, some are fed by rain and snow, some in our area are adopted by a local that drives out and fills their adopted guzzler.  Many different designs and degrees of how much they collect.
 
John C Daley
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Robert, the company is Source global
 
Robert Ray
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Source Global makes the water harvester that they are using in Warm Springs for potable water. Guzzlers here are not a purchased piece of kit but creatively crafted.
https://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/references/public/NE/PS22_CRP_Guzzler.pdf
http://wildlifehabitat.tamu.edu/mgmtplan/AppendixO.pdf
Maybe we should split from "air wells" to water harvesting?
 
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Anne Miller wrote:

I am a firm believer that rocks are one of the best examples of this and this is why air wells work.
.
.
.
Do Air Wells really work?



Seems like most of the stuff I'm finding is saying mediums with high thermal mass are not ideal ... they retain too much heat (overnight?).
 
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Mikhail Mulbasicov wrote:Seems like most of the stuff I'm finding is saying mediums with high thermal mass are not ideal ... they retain too much heat (overnight?).



Heat is part of the process:

...we harvest water by combining atmospheric humidity, heat and air flow...

It is possible to harvest water from air almost anywhere in the world. Our core Air-to-Water unit uses a turbine that forces air through a heat exchanger, where the air is cooled and condensation takes place.



https://rainmakerww.com/technology-air-to-water/

[Many atmospheric water generators operate in a manner very similar to that of a dehumidifier: air is moved over a cooled coil, causing water to condense. The rate of water production depends on the ambient temperature, humidity, the volume of air passing over the coil, and the machine's capacity to cool the coil. These systems decrease air temperature, which in turn reduces the air's capacity to carry water vapor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_water_generator


These technologies are given only as an example regarding the statement about the heat.

Air Wells, of course, do not use this technology, though it is the same heat process as the cool air is what produces the water.

I would imagine that there are times when it is just too hot for them the air wells work.
 
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Robert Ray wrote:Source Global makes the water harvester that they are using in Warm Springs for potable water.



Does anyone know how those Source Global water collectors manage to keep from being filled with dust and getting all gummed up?  

Source Global hydropanels how they work (but doesn't seem to explain how dust and sand are filtered out...)


The company is in AZ, so I guess they figured something out... but I can't fathom what!  ha  I'm also in the desert, and you should see my window sills... it's a constant effort to get the sand out.  After a sandstorm or dust storm, there is dust/sand on everything indoors and out.

Thanks for the links above to more low-tech options, too!
 
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Does anyone know how those Source Global water collectors manage to keep from being filled with dust and getting all gummed up?  



My bet is a a regular filter on the fan that's drawing air in, tbh.  Probably several layers of different-sized filters. It's solar-powered, so they could have additional static forces to prevent dust from moving too far down the air intake, or some sort of self-cleaning function where it exchanges the old filter for the new one, and like... vibrates the old one clean, or something like that.
They also likely have some sort of regular cleaning or filter replacement schedule you have to do to maintain it, just like any fan that brings air inside from outside.

From their explanation & diagram, it looks like The Source Global water collector is a solar-powered fan that blows across a chemical dehumidifier, plus a mini pressure-driven reverse-osmosis system (or ion-exchange filter) & mineralizer.



^ The 'water vapor condensing' part of it basically a fancier one of these, which you can buy at Menards for about $5. It's made of a top chamber with Calcium Chloride, and a fine mesh between that and the bottom chamber, where condensed brine is stored.

Calcium Chloride is deliquescent. If exposed to air, it will absorb water from the air to dissolve - becoming a clear liquid brine.
You can pull the Calcium Chloride back out of the brine using a pressure-driven filtration system through a semi-permeable membrane - a very very fine filter. This is called reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective methods of removing dissolved salts (like calcium chloride) from water.  The filter is so fine that (almost!) only water molecules can pass through.

It's also possible they're using an Ion-Exchange filter, using resin beads that are charged with static to exchange ions with salts containing chloride - The chloride sticks to the resin beads, and leave only the water behind. Ion-Exchange filters are found in water softeners, to remove salts and minerals from household water & replace them with sodium or potassium.

Periodically, the resin beads would need to be 'recharged', and the minerals washed off. Inexpensive initial expense to produce, but high operating costs over long-term because you need to keep buying caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) to regularly regenerate the resins...
but the reverse-osmosis filtration system would also have its costs, replacing filters & engaging a pressure pump to push the water through those fine filters. RO tanks usually operate with a pressure of 40-80 PSI, which would need the solar energy to keep up.



Could be both! Reverse-osmosis to do most of the work, the ion exchange could do the rest - both systems could fit inside that structure, since both systems also can fit under my kitchen sink. Idk the energy requirements of running both, tho.

So, once you've spent some of your harvested solar energy by turning a fan to blow air across your calcium chloride to condense.... and maybe spent a little bit of energy doing the ion-exchange electrical-driven harvesting... or perhaps spent a bit of energy to really push your brine through the RO filter.... all that's left is to mineralize!

What's mineralizing?
Well, any type of heavy-duty filtration & water-purifying treatment like that is going to leave you with ONLY water molecules. It's like drinking a glass of distilled water - it'll pick up the flavor of whatever you're using to hold & transport it, or if it only touched glass it'll taste like absolutely nothing. It's bizarre. Even distilled water from the store has a faint plastic taste from its containers.
When you mineralize water, you add some minerals and salts back into it, at very small doses to add flavor (ward off plastic pipes flavor). The amount of minerals in mineralized water is negligible, and any decently varied diet will supply far more to you. It really is just for preference of taste, not health.

--

Just eyeballing it, I figure they probably blow the fan until all the calcium chloride (or whatever other deliquescent material they're using) is completely brined, then engage pressure (via air or a manual piston - probably air compression) to shove the water out through the RO filter, leaving the calcium chloride behind to re-crystalize out of its supersaturated solution.
Now they have pure water in a reservoir, and calcium chloride left behind to gather more water, then release the pressure and let the fan blow more air on it.
From the reservoir, the water (somehow) has some minerals added to it (And probably has a UV chamber to kill any unwanted bacteria/viruses/fungi) before it's pumped out to a storage unit for drinking.

Oh! Plus a battery, so it can charge up enough power between cycles to activate that PSI increase, and to keep the fan blowing & UV chamber lit.

Really, it's a cool device! If I had a better head for how to do math, I'd love to try to make my own from that outline. Electricity, voltage, amperage... how many batteries do you need to run an air compressor!? The numbers get garbled up in my head every time I think about it too hard. I've got a lot of physics concepts down for how it works, but I can't keep track of the numbers.
The gods handicapped me with Dyscalculia, else I'd have dethroned them by now. =\  
Wise of them, I suppose.
 
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Actually, if it's solar-powered, they could TOTALLY just be running a little refrigerator-style condenser inside there.  A single solar panel has the kilowatts to run a medium-sized fridge, so if they just packed a minifridge worth of cooling-and-heating, then forced air through the cold pipes with a fan, they could use the temperature differentiation to condense water out of the air.
Then just let the melted water trickle down through a filter & mineralizer and pow! Fresh water!

That's a lot simpler then my Calcium Chloride + osmosis idea, haha~
 
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