Water from Air: The Rainmaker

Water issue adressed: Too little
The Rainmaker

Mr Kwazi Zwezwe, is a grade 09 learner from a rural village in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) called Nokweja. While looking at the outside of a bottle with ice, an idea then came to mind. This idea prompted Kwazi to design a model, called  The concept of using air to produce water is not relatively new in the markets, however, existing systems are either too expensive and complex, and thus cannot be implementable to a rural community or population at large.  South Africa being a water scarce country, that receives little to no rain most of the time; a system that produces water from the air sustainably is an ideal solution to combating the impacts of droughts. The “Rainmaker” which uses a prototype as the main component to dehumidify the air, causing the it to condense into droplets of water by the use of a thermoelectric cooler provides such a solution.The rainmaker is designed using cheap and easily accessible materials such as a CPU, SLA battery, aluminium heat sink, solar power/wind power as an alternative power supply and a thermal compound. Over a period of 24 hours, 1.2 litres of water is collected, and according to laboratory chemical analysis, the water produced is as good as rainwater. The water produced can be used for household purposes such as gardening, lawn irrigation, crop irrigation, car washing. Drinking is permissible provided that a disinfectant is applied first. This model is best suitable for regions that are humid, such as KZN, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga and not provinces like Gauteng (as it is dry). With a bigger model, it is estimated that in 24 hours, 20 litres or 0.2 kilolitres will be collected. The Rainmaker is one step in being an alternative source of water supply for many countries such as South Africa who are facing severe water shortages especially due to climate change.

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

While looking at the outside of a bottle with ice, an idea came to mind. This prompted Kwazi to design a model, called the “Rainmaker” which uses a prototype to dehumidify the air, causing it to condense into water droplets.

AUTHORS

National organizer

Department of Water and Sanitation

Sponsors

Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Water Research Commission

Other Author

Kwazi Zwezwe