miércoles, diciembre 30, 2015

WARKAWATER TOWER, la torre de bambù que extrae agua del aire

foto Marja-Terttu Karlsson


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A Bamboo Tower That Produces Water From Air

THE WARKAWATER TOWER is an unlikely structure to find jutting from the Ethiopian landscape. At 30 feet tall and 13 feet wide, it’s not half as big as its namesake tree (which can loom 75 feet tall), but it’s striking nonetheless. The spindly tower, of latticed bamboo lined with orange polyester mesh, isn’t art—though it does kind of look like it. Rather, the structure is designed to wring water out of the air, providing a sustainable source of H2O for developing countries

Created by Arturo Vittori and his team at Architecture and Vision, the towers harvest water from rain, fog and dew. This isn’t a new idea—people have been doing this for as long as they’ve needed water, often with air wells. Often built as high-rising stone structures, air wells gather moisture from the air and funnel it into a basin for collection. The WarkaWater functions in much the same way, using mesh netting to capture moisture and direct it into hygienic holding tank accessed via a spout.

e wrote about the towers last year when Vittori unveiled a full-size prototype. The company has a newer version of the WarkaWater and a Kickstarter campaign to fund field testing in Ethiopia later this year. Based on tests performed in its Italian lab, the company claims the latest iteration can harvest 13 to 26.4 gallons of water daily. That’s less than most people flush away each day, but a significant quantity in a country where some 60 million people lack sufficient potable water

The new prototype has some key upgrades: The exterior is of bamboo rather than juncus, the top of the tower has reflective pieces to deter birds, and the structure is larger (13 feet wide, up from 7). This doubled the surface area of its water-resistant polyester mesh netting—the orange material you see—so more water is collected as fog permeates the fine mesh. MIT has been researching a similar fog harvesting technique that draws inspiration from the Namib beetle. The process of collecting rain is straightforward, but capturing dew is slightly more complicated. Dew forms when the surface area temperature drops relative to the surrounding air. This happens most often in the time between nightfall and sunrise. Vittori is researching materials for the funnel section of the WarkaWater (between mesh netting and the tank) that will lose heat as quickly as possible in order to optimize the small window of dew-production.

The WarkaWater will cost around $1,000 to produce and requires no electricity. Vittori says it takes less than an hour to assemble the five modules into a finished tower, making it easily packed and moved as necessary. The practical goal is for the WarkaWater to become an efficient round-the-clock water production machine. But populating the landscape with alien towers is about more than just functionality, it’s about architecture. You can tell Vittori wanted to design something iconic, but beyond that is the tower’s potential to the social nexus of a village. With fabric canopies that stretch out like a peplum skirt, the towers could be a place where people gather to socialize and seek shelter from the sun, just as they would beneath a leafy Warka tree.


anteriormente en èste blog

27 DE MAYO DE 2014, 16:04
Las warkawater son torres recolectoras de agua capaces deabastecer a una familia de siete miembros. Su coste es ínfimo comparado con el de un pozo y permiten mejorar la calidad de vida de toda una comunidad.

Si has leído Dune, de Frank Herbert, tal vez esta idea te resulte familiar. Los cazavientos de los Fremen se utilizaban para atrapar la humedad del aire para convertirla en agua. Desconozco si los creadores de este proyecto han leído el famoso libro, pero la idea del Warkawater es la misma.

Las torres se componen de cinco o seis módulos fácilmente montables
El proyecto que están llevando a cabo el diseñador italiano Arturo Vittori y el arquitecto suizo Andreas Vogler, del estudio Architecture and Vision, se basa en una estructura de bambú fácilmente ensamblable que no requiere la ayuda de maquinaria. En su interior cuenta con un tejido transpirable basado en el nylon capaz de recoger la humedad del aire y que permitirá recolectar entre veinte y treinta litros de agua en una sola noche. Suficiente para abastecer a una familia de siete miembros.

El diseño recuerda a los árboles autóctonos del país, los warka, ya que son vitales para la comunidad. Alrededor de ellos los pueblos y las familias hacen su vida diaria, allí se reúnen y conversan y transmiten conocimientos de generación en generación. Sin embargo estos grandes pilares, tanto sociales como naturales, están desapareciendo.

Uno de los principales motivos por los que el tercer mundo se mantiene por debajo del umbral del desarrollo es la falta de agua potable. Sin el líquido elemento, ya puedes llevar internet, que no habrá gente para conectarse. Es por eso que este proyecto es vital para Etiopía, donde una torre recolectora de agua costaría menos de 550$ (400 euros aprox.) y un pozo con bomba extractora 14,000$ (más de 10.000 euros). Ya no hay excusa para que estas comunidades puedan desarrollarse. Tener agua potable, a partir de ahora, será más sencillo y los niños, que son los encargados de ir a por agua, podrán estudiar y jugar, que es lo que deben hacer.


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