In Peru, A Highway Billboard That Turns Wind Into Water
Worldcrunch, Feb. 23, 2013
LIMA—You’ve seen highway billboards advertising some rest-stop or hotel: “Oasis, Next Exit.” Now in Peru, there’s a billboard that actually is itself something of an oasis.
The Technology and Engineering University of Peru has installed a billboard panel along the Panamericana Sur (PanAmerican highway) highway that generates 96 liters of drinkable water a day with a built-in humidity condenser.
Under the slogan “ingenuity in action”, the Lima university team designed the billboard and installed it on kilometer 89.5 of the Peruvian section of the major Latin American highway.
Alejandro Aponte, the project’s chief explains the inner workings of the panel: “Inside the panel are five machines that absorb environmental humidity and then, through an electronic multi-filtering system (activated carbon, antistatic filters and UV lamps), the water is purified and turned into a ready-to-drink source.”
Aponte says each machine produces 28 liters of water every day, and needs a minimum humidity percentage of at least 70% in the environment, which is normal in Lima.
The water produced is available for anyone who wants to stop and take it. A storage tank holds the water that neighbors or spontaneous thirsty drivers stop by to collect—or just have a drink.
"The concept of this project is to show people how technology and engineering can change the world," says Juan Donalisio, from the Mayo agency, which launched the campaign together with Humberto Polar and Aponte. "This is why I wanted to expose one of my applications live and in public. So it is tangible and useful for people."