Hydromatter. Final project

Hydromatter project focuses on the phenomenon of evaporation under high humidity and condensation on surfaces with cold air suppling. The project goal was to rethink this fact, answer the question whether it is possible to use condensate as an alternate water source. The task was to consider it in domestic conditions at home. It was the first strict restriction, because the collection of water at home is not so justified for some human needs than in urban environment. However, it became key incentive to solve this problem with variety restrictions like a mathematical equation. Thus, the reseach object is the passive system for water production from air. Our hypothesis – it is possible to get water on some materials’ surfaces if you provide a certain difference between the surface’s temperature and the temperature of air.

Water daily

Water daily was first attempt to identify problems related to water and some patterns in the dependence on this. For example, it demonstrated that water consumplion is more on evening times, that we consumed more water during the shower, etc. We also focused on interesting facts, in particular, the fact that cold surfaces get fogged up after shower or there are high temperature and in the kitchen during cooking. According this, we considered a number of problems related to water smart use.

Water smart use. Research’s stages

Our experiments can be divided into 3 stages: 1. water itself as an alternative source of energy * Why not? It was possible to gain energy (test results showed 3 and 12 volts of energy from water), but this could lead to another problem related to water consumption. charging gadgets at home with water seemed also unreasonable * Prototypes | Several prototypes were made
2. Steam as an alternative source of energy * Why not? The power of the steam flow was very low and the energy receiving was almost impossible in common conditions. Hot steam also spoiled mechanical parts and materials due to direct contact with it. *There was a test for the same HPS. There was created the steam engine prototype based on research of the Harvard University. The idea was that the bacteria absorb moisture and by changing size and moving they twist the wheel and it produces energy. The gadget was cool but it was difficult to repeat it. Moreover, it was impossible to work with bacteria. However, despite this fact, I decided to change bacteria with superabsorbing material that able to absorb moisture and by changing gaining weight also twist the wheel. The wheel was twisted slowly and, of course, not enough to generate energy.
3. steam as an alternative water source This topic seemed to us more justified and actually led to a working result, though not the first time. Secondly, this provided a reference to the global problem of water resource depletion . The renewal of natural resources by producing water from air, collecting fog, rain, etc. is assumed to be decision in urban scale and global scales. We also focused on interesting facts, in particular, the fact that cold surfaces get fogged up after shower or there are high temperature and in the kitchen during cooking. It was appeared the idea that we can harvesh steam from air, capture it by material or devices. Thus, conducted a series of experiments to understand how much water can be collected, how it can be used and for what. 3.1 * The first prototype was sealed package in which steam was to be collected as water in a few minutes. * Why not? It has not human impact and was just attemp to see the process of steam-water transforming. The strict steam flow was also destructive for materials’ structure, mechanical elements (for my hands as well), etc.
3.2 *Steam harvesting structure above the stove was the second idea, because has aestetics effect as well. It would be folded smart structure like ‘cloud’ generated water. * Why not? Hot steam was the key restriction again, although it was cooled above the stove, but this height did not allow to collect water at all despite the fact that, for example, clay is with very high hydrophilicity. This property of clay could be used for the plants growth on its surface, but again the high temperature interfered. Thus, we began consider the clay as material retaining moisture well and providing domestic gardening. it was possible to create the biodiversity of kitchen spices by adding the components to clay. Hovewer, this experience was useful to us a bit later.
In parallel with it, we observed condensation in the bathroom. Water drained directly on the materials with opening the door and flow of cold air. For example, mirror, metal pipe and wall ceramic tiles produced more water. It was lead to the fact that the clay being caked into ceramic is capable of condense the water, and the natural clay absorbs it well. This interesting phenomenon turned us to creation the ‘garden’ in the bathroom, where we can test these two types of clay. However, it was embarrassing that the garden itself in the bathroom was not entirely justified and it would be in extreme conditions without light. There kitchen was provided more light and necessity in spices. Then we compared these options and would turned to simulating one of the missing conditions both in barh or kitchen. Kitchen: + kitchen is one of the common spaces and garden on the wall would be more relevant. The possibility of plants growing is also higher with light. — however, because of the open space and large area, the steam dispersed and condensate did not remain on the surfaces. The one way out was to provide artificial temperatures’ difference by simulating something or directional steam flow. This was difficult again as in the previous experiments. Bathroom: + the higher condensation efficiency on the material and the water flows off the surfaces in cause of closed space and can be used for growing plants. +- however, there is not enough light for growth and changeable humidity. These were also limitations but solved by choosing flowers capable to grow in extreme conditions, like tropical, or to add artificial light. +- flowers have no role except as aesthetic in the bathroom. According this, we decided not to grow plants itself there, but to germinate the seeds. This requires less water, less system size and less time to system’s “work”. The choice was on the bathroom in conditions of high humidity and variable temperature. However, nevertheless, these conditions are more universal since wet spaces’ conditions are also differ by the presence of windows, the time of cooking or showering, the number of person in family, etc. Theoretically, the Hydromatter can be located in large general buildings, their kitchens, greenhouses, botanical gardens, even museums or other spaces with wet processes. This is like the potential for the development of a Hydromatter project on a larger scale. 3.3 *Hydromatter. Final prototype Hydromatter project focuses on the phenomenon of evaporation under high humidity and condensation on surfaces with cold air suppling. The project goal was to rethink this fact, answer the question whether it is possible to use condensate as an alternate water source. The task was to consider it in domestic conditions at home. This first strict restriction became key incentive to solve this problem with variety restrictions like a mathematical equation. Thus, the reseach object is the passive system for water production from air. The hypothesis – it is possible to get water on some materials’ surfaces if you provide a certain difference between the surface’s temperature and the temperature of air. The final prototype demonstates the possibility to grow seeds based on reserch materials on condensation and absorbing abilities, hydropilicity, permeability, etc. There were calculations of squres that we need to produce some water for something. Ceramics was chosen as main material by its ability to cool and restain moisture, as well as to be easy in formation and testing. The peat tablets demonstated the most efficient result in absorbng water – they increased 5-fold over the 1 hour. Then final prototype’s seeds have already sprouted themselves in 5 days. Thus, we proved that growing seeds is possible in the bathroom in conditions of high humidity and variable temperature. Nevertheless, these conditions are more universal since wet spaces are differ by the presence of windows, the time of showering, etc. Hydromatter can be located in the public buildings, greenhouses. This is like the potential for the development of a Hydromatter project on a larger scale.

Materials’ testing on hydrophilicity

It was necessary to test different materials on hydrophilicity in order to define what is the best for absorbing water and able to grow seeds or some small plants. We tested the clay previously proved its high absorbing capability, it is fertile as well. We also choose clay with components and peat tablets. The last ones was more efficient result – they increased 5-fold over the 1 hour. Then final prototype’s seeds have already sprouted themselves in 5 days.
p. Peak tablet after 15 minutes  

Materials’ testing on condensation ability

We tested the reaction of various surfaces to high humidity and temperature in order to understand what is the best to produce and distribute water flows passively. This ability depends on the material’s thermal conductivity and its structure. This, the result was shown by a metal, ceramic and mirror with high coefficients.
Ceramics was chosen as main material by its ability to cool and restain moisture, as well as to be easy in formation and testing. Metal and glass have to be cast and this was impossible for fast tests. We began to test the red, green clay with porous and without, with additives and without. So, white non-porous clay showed the best result (note that white ceramics is also used in Peltier module). In testing, we also noted the ability of ceramics to cool and retain moisture. This allowed to create necessary microclimate in the system and, as a result, to grow seeds. At the same time, cooling the module on a balcony or street, during for about 1 hours, the ceramic takes this temperature and to blow cold at a distance of 1.5 cm and, accordingly, increased the condensation efficiency.

System

In order to combine the two elements (condensing ceramic and absorbing tablet), it was necessary to correlate the scale. There was the condition – X1 ml of water in peat tablet of X2 size by water flow over the surface of ​​X3 square. Firstly, we tested various surfaces observing water drops movement on a flat and than on the biomorphic shape. These ones was created with flame and burning plastic. The final shape was modeled digitally in order to provide nesessary parameters.
p. drop movement on flat surfaces

p. drop movement on biomorphic surfaces

p. drop movement on biomorphic surfaces
We printed its reverse surface and then ‘played’ with real condensate’s drops, making a prototype of quick-setting ceramics, testing the shape and size of the module and consequnenly, printing press-form. The water collected quickly and this system worked. So, we calculated that surface of 100 cm2, there 5 ml of water was drained in during 20 minutes. Substituting there peat tablet with a diameter of 3 cm (was calculated as well), it immediately absorbed water increasing in height.


 
p. tests in the bathroom and kitchen as well

p. test in the bathroom
Then we made the whole ceramic system and tested it by planting the seeds after lifting the tablets. The film was covered for moisture less evaporating . As a result, we created the system consisting of 3 vertical tiles with 2 cross-over modules. Tablets sprouted seeds for 5 days. This result is also due to the very properties of ceramics to cool and retain moisture, creating a favorable microclimate for growth. Cracks in the ceramics were caused by the drying out of the clay, but we decided to use this fact for our initial purpose – creating biodiversity on materials, for various human needs (cooking as well), integration nature to people life. Reminding that we moved away this idea in cause of the high temperature above the slove. Now this fact is appropriate to use to grow plants on bioceramics.




p. 2d day

p. 7th day
  

Pattern | biomimicry

We used 3D printing technology to create a press mold for pattern directing droplets to the collector. For its creation, we studied the patterns of the natural world and focused on the nambian beetle. His micro-sized grooves or bumps on the beetle’s hardened forewings can help condense and direct water toward the beetle’s awaiting mouth, while a combination of hydrophilic (water attracting) and hydrophobic (water repelling) areas on these structures may increase fog- and dew-harvesting efficiency. For certain species of Darkling beetle, the act of facing into the foggy wind and sticking its rear end up in the air (known as fog-basking behavior) is thought to be just as important as body surface structure for successfully harvesting water from the air.

Equipment and technologies


– We used 3D printing technology to create a press mold for pattern directing droplets to the collector. The model was produced in 3dmax.
– the role of the press was carried out by my hand

– laser cutting for the box
– arduino
Arduino was used for measuring humidity and temperature as a controller and indicator. So, the bathroom figure out 80% of humidity and 40 temperature degrees.
– Peltier module (theoretically). Passive system needn’t special cooling with energy consumption, but it would be in some cases.
– light
Light is not always used in bathroom. When no one is home or the bathroom is not in use it is necessary to ensure self-functioning of the system. We decided to use LEEDs by its ease of installation and it can work both with battery and Arduino. We can note that in water dialy markes the hours when we use bathroom more, and this schedule can be also applied to the schedule of lighting and water evaporation and, consequently, to the “work” of the prototype.
<img clas s=”alignnone wp-image-2513″ src=”http://beta.cityandtechnology.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/245015967_81974_18409442910097371120-1024×576.jpg” alt=”” width=”549″ height=”308″ />

p. arduino as measuring and control system of temperature and humidity

Benchmarking | references

Future use in urban scale. Hydrological cluster

It can be noted that the research topic was selected as a continuation of the Hydrological cluster project. It was dedicated to one of the global problem – water sources depletion and world ocean water level changing in New Age. Biomimicry was considered as one of the modern ways of response to global environmental problems. The project offers a decision of water treatment and management through architecture. It was created the card of innovative biomimetic elements, which mimic hydrological and geological objects in forms, ability of natural resources rational use and adapt to constantly changing environment. There are landscape elements, facade elements and construction elements of interior. The last ones was considered for this project as well. Thus, Hydromatter can be used in urban scale as an ecosystem harvested steam, high humidity capturing from air in response of water issues in Antropocene age.

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