‘Fog harp’ makes water out of thin air

>April 10, 2018

'Fog harp' makes water out of thin air

'Fog harp' makes water out of thin air

In some of the most arid regions of the world, from the Sahara to the Andes, special nets have long been used to catch moisture from the air, turning fog into drinking water.

These fog harvesters are put up against wind streams to catch microscopic droplets which gather and merge on a fine mesh until they have enough weight to travel down into a water tank. They provide essential access to water to many communities, and the technology behind them has evolved over the years to offer a higher yield, resistance to the elements and a reduced need for maintenance.

Now, researchers at Virginia Tech University have developed a new design that they say has three times the efficiency of regular fog nets. They call it a "harp," because its vertical pattern of wires makes it resemble the string instrument.

"Our long-term goal is that the fog harp can completely replace the classical net design, resulting in cheaper fog harvesters that end up collecting substantially more water," Jonathan Boreyko, one of the authors of the study at Virginia Tech, said in an email interview.

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