Condensation of Atmospheric Moisture from Tropical Maritime Air Masses as a Freshwater Resource

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  15 Sep 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3794, pp. 1300-1302
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3794.1300


A method is proposed whereby potable water may be obtained by condensing moisture from the atmosphere in suitable seashore or island areas. Deep, cold, offshore seawater is used as a source of cold and is pumped to condensers set up on shore to intercept the flow of highly humid, tropical, maritime air masses. This air, when cooled, condenses moisture, which is conducted away and stored for use as a water supply. Windmill-driven generators would supply low-cost power for the operation. Side benefits are derived by using the nutritious deep water to support aquiculture in nearby lagoons or to enhance the productivity of the outfall area. Additional benefits are derived from the condenser as an air-conditioning device for nearby residents. The islands of the Caribbean are used as an example of a location in the trade-winds belt where nearly optimum conditions for the operation of this system can be found.