- Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:09 pm
Great minds think alike. I had a similar idea a few years ago partially inspired by George Lucas' Star Wars where Luke Skywalker lived on a farm where they collected water in the desert. Wondering how the machine called a "vaporator" worked, I learned by some fans it worked by condensation with ions.
A solar powered refrigerator unit in the desert seemed to be the closest translation from fiction to fact in the real world, but I could never find out how many solar panels it would take to produce enough energy to power a refrigerator unit large enough to collect enough water to fulfill the needs of a family of four who lived in a desert environment.
One dilemma I did come across was the effect on the environment freon would have if ever one of these water units were to be damaged. One possible solution would be the use of Hydrocarbons. Though flammable, in an appropriate container they could quell concerns about the Ozone Layer being threatened by the use of water units in desert communities.
For more information on alternatives to freon, go to your local internet search engine and look up the appropriate key words. As for the conversion of energy from solar panels to the final collection of water, that may take a person with an engineering degree to see if the idea is cost effective. Solar panels are expensive and if two can only produce a gallon of water ever few days, this idea may need to be refined.