Protecting the environment by creating green energy and solving the world's water scarcity issues are two of the important challenges facing our world right now, so any project that aids one of those causes is well worth consideration.
If an idea can help solve both problems, well, that would be worth everyone's consideration.
Air HES is one such idea that could make a positive impact on both causes. The project is the brain child of Russian engineer Andrei Khurshdov and is similar to the idea being tested in the PHOG Water project highlighted earlier on Care to Click that's the student-led research project that places mesh nets on the top of mountains, capturing water from clouds as they pass through the netting.
Khurshdov's idea uses a similar mesh fabric square, but instead of fastening them to mountains Khushdov attaches them to tethered helium balloons the size of blimps, allowing them to rise thousands of feet into the air to reach clouds.
Once in the sky, the mesh captures moisture from the clouds, which clings to its strands. Gravity then takes over, allowing the water to run down the tether. While PHOG Water's lone goal is to capture the water, Air HES sends the water through a small turbine attached to the anchor unit. When the water passes through the turbine, it causes the turbine to spin, thereby generating green electricity.
If the turbine is kept clean, the water can then be collected, or purified, for use.
Khurshdov projects that his pilot program could produce 264 gallons of clean drinking water per day, depending on weather conditions. As for power, the prototype isn't expected to light up a city but it should produce enough power to satisfy the daily needs of a single family home.
The program has some immediately noticeable issues to overcome. Allowing balloons to fly to such a height would have a negative impact on air traffic especially if the tethers are difficult to see. Floating a slew of balloons to collect water and produce power would be an eyesore for the community they serve. Storms could cause the balloons to crash or fly away. And this project wouldn't be nearly as effective in arid regions or during long dry spells.
Still, it seems like the idea has merit. Khurshdov is trying to raise money online to fund his prototype. Money raised in the U.S. will be sent to Khurshdov in Russia, so we can't endorse the transparency or say for sure that the money will be used as intended. We would like to see Khurshdov complete his prototype, though.
Friends of the environment don't have to wait for the Air HES project to reach its potential before they can make a positive impact on their environment. Simply visit the Care To Click Environment page and donate a free click or print useful coupons. At CareToClick.com your small actions prompt our donations to organizations working to preserve and protect the environment.