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Fontus

Someday soon, cyclists might never again have to worry about running out of water on a hot and humid day.

A gadget created by Kristof Retezár, an industrial design student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, collects and condenses moisture from the air while a bicycle is in motion. It then fills up a water bottle attached to the bike frame.

Named after the Roman god of wells and springs, “Fontus” uses the principle of thermoelectric cooling, in which an electricity-powered heat pump transfers heat from one side of a container to another.

Fontus is still in the prototype stage. The design was recently a finalist for the 2014 James Dyson Award, an international design competition.

fontus breakdown
This rendering shows how humid air condenses through the system.

So how does it work? According to a description of the product on the award site, solar panels generate the electricity needed to cool the upper chamber of the device, while the bottom heats up. As the bike moves forward, air is pulled in, and then slowed and cooled as it moves through that upper chamber. The moisture from the air then condenses into water and drips into a bottle.

fontus prototype
After cooling and condensing, the water drips into the prototype.

Of course, bikers can bring water with them. But in an interview with The Huffington Post, Retezár said he sees potential for the device in long and intense bike tours where water is scarce. [HuffPost]




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