A Dutch artist and inventor develops a solar-powered water maker with no moving parts and says he expects it to run for decades. Roselle Chen reports.
This solar powered water maker keeps going and going and going. Ap Verheggen's device uses a Peltier element, which transfers heat from one side of the device to the other when a current is passed through it, creating a cold side. SOUNDBITE (English) INVENTOR, AP VERHEGGEN, SAYING: "The cooling surface is cooled by Peltier element, which is directly connected to the solar panel, so we don't have a battery, we don't have an inverter, we don't have a fan, so no running parts, so I expect that it will run for decades." The system costs around 50 Euros to build. SOUNDBITE (English) INVENTOR, AP VERHEGGEN, SAYING: "All the energy that's produced is used to cool a surface. Moisture in the air comes to the surface and it starts to condensate and then you have water." After six years of trial and error in developing the solar-powered water maker, Verheggen has published all his findings and related technology online in hopes that researchers will find ways to increase the efficiency of his device, which currently harvests only a small glass of water per day. What makes the DC3 solar-powered water maker stand out from other devices that extract atmospheric water in a similar way is that many of them are wind powered and need extensive infrastructure to work, while the DC3 is completely off the grid and fully sustainable.