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Named after a Roman god of wells and springs, Fontus is a solar-powered device that is able to convert the moisture in the air into the water while you ride your bike. This self-filling bottle harvests water using a Peltier Element – a two-chambered cooler that is designed to improve condensation.
As the air is pulled into the upper chamber, it is slowed down by several barriers. The airflow speed allows for the release of water molecules, that are pulled from the air and after this process stored in a bottle.
Created by Kristof Retezár, the Fontus acts best in humid environments at high temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Kristof Retezár from the University of Applied Arts Vienna says: “My goal was to create a small, compact and self-sufficient device able to absorb humid air, separate water molecules from air molecules and store water in liquid form in a bottle.”
After over 30 experiments, the Fontus was calibrated to have a steady output of one drop of condensed water per minute. In the ideal environment, this bottle can harvest as much as a half liter of water in an hour.
This is an excellent achievement, but the problem is that the Fontus is not sufficient for a hot, humid day and is ineffective in cities where the pollution contaminates water molecules pulled from the urban air.
“The air enters the bottom chamber at a high speed when moving forward with the bike and cools the hot side down. The condensing structure represents the largest surface in the smallest space possible. This provides a large surface for condensation to happen.” explained Retezár.
You can choose from two different self-filling bottles. The Ryde for cyclists and the Airo for hikers.
Fontus Airo or Fontus Ryde are very promising tools and perhaps there will be one of these in every bug out bag, first aid kit and on every life raft.