Electrostatically driven fog collection using space charge injection

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Science Advances  08 Jun 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 6, eaao5323
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao5323

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Fog collection can be a sustainable solution to water scarcity in many regions around the world. Most proposed collectors are meshes that rely on inertial collision for droplet capture and are inherently limited by aerodynamics. We propose a new approach in which we introduce electrical forces that can overcome aerodynamic drag forces. Using an ion emitter, we introduce a space charge into the fog to impart a net charge to the incoming fog droplets and direct them toward a collector using an imposed electric field. We experimentally measure the collection efficiency on single wires, two-wire systems, and meshes and propose a physical model to quantify it. We identify the regimes of optimal collection and provide insights into designing effective fog harvesting systems.

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