By Cassi Kirkland
During my hours-long drive home from the University of Michigan, I always see hundreds of billboards plaguing the street. Most of us are so used to seeing billboards everywhere that we don’t even notice them anymore. But in Lima, Peru, one billboard is saving lives.
Lima experiences very little rainfall, and suppliers charge huge amounts of money to shipped water into the city of approximately 7.5 million. However, their morning weather often reaches a humidity level of at least 80%. In order to take advantage of all of this moisture floating around in the air, Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology teamed up with the Peruvian ad agency Mayo Publicidad.
The billboard does use electricity to power condensers in the billboard, which cools water vapor in the air. After the water vapor is condensed, it is purified through reverse osmosis and finally flows down the billboard into a storage tank. Generating about 96 liters a day, residents have access via a faucet at the bottom. The best part? It reportedly only cost about $1200 to install.
This inexpensive innovation turns a billboard from an arguably wasteful marketing attempt into something that provides an essential resource, especially in developing communities. Although it runs on electricity, other energy sources should be considered to run this relatively simple process in the future.
photos from: http://www.utec.edu.pe/noticias-utec-presenta-panel-que-genera-agua-potable.html
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