Researchers’ flow platform advances water harvesting technology

The researchers’ unique platform solves a key problem in water harvesting: Collected water droplets form a thermal barrier that prevents further condensation, so they need to be removed from the surface as rapidly as possible to make room for more harvesting. The team addressed this problem by developing a platform with a unique shape. They cut a series of mushroom-like channels — smaller in diameter than a human hair — into the collection surface so that part of the surface material overhangs each channel. As droplets collect on the surface, they are absorbed into the channels, but the mushroom design prevents the water from flowing back onto the initial collection surface. Harvested water is collected through those channels.