From the Series
Kristof Retezár, an industrial designer from University of Applied Arts in Vienna has designed a smart way for cyclists to stay hydrated. Fontus is a device that pulls water directly from the air and into a bottle as you cycle. An essential part of any form of exercise is staying hydrated, especially in the hot summer months. Fontus may solve the problem of cyclists having to carry large amounts of water with them for long distances in areas that don’t have readily available fresh water sources. The solar-powered device sits on the bike’s frame and can harvest water using a Peltier Element, also known as the thermoelectric effect, which uses a two-chambered solar-powered cooler to stimulate condensation. The upper chamber is cooled by electricity generated by solar panels while the bottom heats up. This promotes the production of condensation, which is stored in the bottle as water ready for consumption.
“My goal was to create a small, compact and self-sufficient device able to absorb humid air, separate water molecules from air molecules and store water in liquid form in a bottle,” says Retezár. Retezár was able to regulate the Fontus to produce a constant production of one drop of condensed water per minute provided the outside temperature is around 20°C. This amounts to approximately 500ml of water per hour. The bottle is really only effective away from the smog of urban living, because while it does have a dust filter, it doesn’t have a purifier. However, it could have the potential to help the over 2 billion people who live in countries with high humidity levels but scarce water availability.