Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
One of the greenest irrigation methods is a new solar/wind device called the Airdrop, which extracts moisture from air and is ...

Agriculture

Beetles + Solar Panels & a Wind Turbine = Irrigation (Video)

One of the greenest irrigation methods is a new solar/wind device called the Airdrop, which extracts moisture from air and is …

the Airdrop - solar power, wind power, and irrigationIrrigation has been part of agriculture for centuries. From digging trenches to the river to setting up what amounts to giant sprinklers across a field, many techniques have been explored. One of the greenest is a new solar and wind power assisted device developed by an Australian university student, which extracts moisture from the air.

Edward Linnacre calls his idea the Airdrop. While he isn’t the first to try and get water from thin air (so to speak), his goal was to make it cost-effective, robust, and relatively low-tech.

How It Works

The Airdrop has a turbine intake, which pulls the air underground and then pushes it through a series of copper pipes. The air is cooled to the temperature of the soil, which leads to condensation. The resulting water is gathered and stored in a tank until it can be delivered directly to the roots of the plants needing irrigation.

If it’s windy enough, the turbine doesn’t need another energy source. On those hot, still, awful days with no sign of moving air, solar panels charge a small battery which then powers the turbine and the irrigation pump (points for not one but two types of green energy!).

The Airdrop is even theoretically easy to manage – an LCD screen is included to display information such as tank water levels, battery life, and overall system health.

Beetles Did It First (Sort Of)

Edward has gone on the record as saying that his inspiration was the Namib beetle. The little bug collects water droplets during early morning fog. Using that image as a springboard, Edward made a very small-scale prototype, which successfully managed to collect about a quart of water a day.

Another source of inspiration for Edward was a relatively unknown side effect of drought in Australian rural communities, namely suicide. Farmers unable to cope with the primary effects of drought (nothing grows) may take their own lives in despair.

The James Dyson Award and Beyond

Edward has already won the James Dyson Award, which runs in 18 countries and aims to inspire students to “design something that solves a problem.” The money from the award will go to further development of the Airdrop.

Of course, with such a neat idea, Edward may not have to rely on the prize money. According to his university, commercial developers in the U.S., Asia, and the Middle East have already contacted him about his device.

Source: Eco Business | Image: James Dyson Foundation via Youtube

 
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

What is the best way to field test printed solar panels? After 20 years in development in the lab at the University of Newcastle,...

Clean Power

Pumped hydro already accounts for 93% of utility-scale energy storage in the US, and plans are in the works to build up from there.

Cars

The Good Car Company is getting better. With a A$200 million backing from Boundless Earth, founded and funded by Mike Cannon-Brookes, the Good Car...

Copyright © 2022 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.