dutch artist ap verheggen mixes art with technology to fight against climate change. verheggen is the mastermind behind sunglacier, a company innovating solar-powered sculptures that can produce water out of thin air. 

ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
the dc 03 sculpture is powered by a photovoltaic panel 

 

 

sunglacier’s latest project, the dc 03, is a standalone piece that uses a solar panel to power an 18 W peltier. this cools an aluminium block to below the dew point of the surrounding air, causing water to condense on its surface. designed to be both a device and a work of art, the creation is inline with verheggen’s belief that art is the perfect vehicle to demonstrate man’s possibilities for positive impact when it comes to climate change. 

ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
water condenses on the cool aluminium cone 

 

 

the dc 03 is the company’s most implementable work so far—their previous experiments with solar-produced water took a significantly larger form. the dc 02 WaterCube measures 20 square inches, and is embedded with solar cells which in turn power a refrigeration device. the condensed water then drips down into a glass placed below. 

ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
the dc 02 WaterCube uses embedded solar panels

 

 

sunglacier’s original project took the form of the sculptural fountain that produces it’s own water. designed to be placed in a desert, the fountain is mounted on a condenser, concealed in a metallic box that serves as the plinth for the work. the sculpture, made form red cedar, was first exhibited in the courtyard of the beelden aan zee museum.

ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
the dc 01 statue is unveiled to the public in the beelden aan zee museum courtyard

 

 

the team have been working along the way to find the most effective way to cool surfaces down below the dew point of surrounding air, without using momentous amounts of energy. the dc 03 uses a peltier element has a temperature difference of 67 c maximum between the upper “hot” side and the under “cool” side. the more that the hot upper side releases its heat and cools – the more cooling potential is realized in the under side. normally the condensation temperature increases when temperatures rise, so the cold side is below the dew point even in hot desert conditions.   

ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
different shapes are tested for their water-collection potential 
sunglacier-water-from-air-d3-technolgy-designboom-02-09-2017-818-004
the dc 02 has an inbuilt battery
sunglacier-water-from-air-d3-technolgy-designboom-02-09-2017-818-005
the cube collects a half glass of water over six hours
ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
water condenses on the aluminium cone, cooled below the surrounding dew temperature
ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
the dc-01 is mounted atop a condenser 
ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
the red cedar details of verheggen’s sculpture
ap verheggen water sculptures sunglacier designboom 02-08-2017
the dc 01 was designed to be placed in a desert

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