The unique technology has the task of turning at least part of the dry and hot desert into a green oasis. The project brings together experts from UCEEB and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University together with the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. In practice, it will be applied in the Czech pavilion at the world exhibition EXPO 2020 in Dubai.
SAWER was named by Jiří František Potužník, general commissioner of the Czech participation in EXPO 2020. It is an acronym made up of the English words Solar Air Water Earth Resource and means sun, air, water, earth and resources. It is a system for extracting water from the air, the specific feature of which is autonomous operation. Therefore, its energy needs are fully covered by solar energy.
The developed device consists of two parts, one of which has the task of extracting water from the air in the desert, and the other should use the obtained liquid for its cultivation. The technology in which the University Center for Energy Efficient Buildings of CTU participates is used in two stages. First, a material is used - a so-called desiccant, which removes water content from the outdoor air and retains it on its surface. The dehumidified air, which has been treated with the help of a desiccant, is led back into the outdoor environment, and the system can thus absorb new outdoor air, which naturally contains water vapor. It must be heated strongly so that water vapor can be released from the surface of the desiccant, which moistens the desert air. Thanks to this, in the next phase, much more water can be obtained using the cooler than from the air of the desert outside.
According to experts, SAWER could get an average of up to 100 liters per day from the air. Which is up to ten times more than other desert air coolers. Part of the Czech pavilion at EXPO 2020 in Dubai will be a large garden, which should use the produced water from the system. Two larger devices are being prepared for the exhibition, which together will produce up to 500 liters of water.
At present, the heart of the unit of the system for extracting water from the air, which is being put into operation in the laboratories of the Czech Technical University UCEEB, is already ready. Thanks to this, her work can be tested in the day and night climatic conditions of the desert. The developed technology can thus provide water for plants even where they are not normally found and can be used in any isolated area where there is no water source.