Stainless steel helping to relieve water shortages in the worlds most arid regions

Stainless steel helping to relieve water shortages in the worlds most arid regions

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When we think about sources of water, fog is not the first thing that springs to mind. But a pioneering new water technology called the CloudFisher® offers communities facing severe water shortages in arid and foggy coastal or mountainous regions an affordable and sustainable source of clean water. CloudFisher is a pioneering new water technology that offers communities facing severe water shortages in arid and foggy coastal or mountainous regions an affordable and sustainable source of clean water. Over a two-year period between 2013 and 2016, the team piloted fog-harvesting technology on the slopes of Mount Boutmezguida in Morocco to optimize the design and assembly of fog collectors and demonstrate their ability to serve as a reliable source of clean water. During the pilot phase 10 different types of mesh fabric were tested.

It was found that woven mesh and fabrics made of stainless steel produce a lower water yield than three-dimensional spacer fabrics, which Aqualonis has been using ever since. The larger surface area of three-dimensional spacer fabrics can capture many more tiny water droplets than other materials, and the distance between the monofilaments is very important – it must not be too small or too big.

The CloudFisher consists of a fine-mesh net suspended within a steel frame. The net is held in place by a series of rubber expanders that also attach it to the collector at its base. The stainless steel nets are positioned to allow the wind to blow the fog through the nets for maximum water collection. The water vapor in the air is trapped in the fine mesh of the net, condenses and drips down the mesh into a collector at the base.

So how much water can be harvested from fog? According to Aqualonis, CloudFisher technology makes it possible to harvest between 10 and 22 liters of water per square meter of net, depending on the region and time of year, though they also note that the CloudFisher once produced nearly 66 liters of water on the slopes of Mount Boutmezguida.

CloudFisher technology makes it possible to deliver clean drinking water to communities facing severe water shortages in arid coastal and highland regions where fog is a regular occurrence. Low rainfall and depleting ground water resources put communities under huge pressure, making them prone to a range of challenges ranging from land degradation and rural migration to poor literacy, and low levels of nutrition and health. CloudFisher technology offers these communities a user-friendly, low-maintenance and sustainable alternative.

 

Stainless Steel is a supremely strong and durable metals for projects like this, you can also see it’s application in our Stainless Steel Frames

 

Source/Images:
WIPO Magazine