Fontus Is the Ultimate Hydration Companion for Cyclists, and Works on Motorcycles, Too

Fontus 8 photos
Photo: Kristof Retezar
In case you thought that the wind traps in Frank Herbert's Dune masterpiece were only SciFi gimmicks, think again. Austrian designer Kristof Retezar has, too, and he came up with Fontus, a device that uses the Peltier effect to fill your water bottle with clean, cool water, for free.
Fontus is a simple add-on device that can be used with pretty much any type of vehicle, even if it was originally designed to be mounted on a bicycle. It works with sun-generated electricity, thanks to two small solar panel elements on top of it.

It will harness moisture from the atmosphere, condense it to water droplets, cooling them and channeling this small stream that flows into a casual 0.5-liter PET bottle.

The Peltier effect is widely used in water coolers, even if you didn't know this

Now, the magic behind Fontus relies on a Peltier element, not unlike those used in small-scale water coolers. The Peltier element requires that a small electrical charge be applied to it. The current will cause energy transfer from one side of the element to the other, and depending on the side where energy is extracted, it can act as a cooler or heater.

Retezar designed the Fontus in such a way that air is channeled through the hot side of the Peltier element, forcing the other side to get increasingly cool. That's right, the more energy is extracted from a side, the more pronounced the desired effect on the opposite will be.

Air circulating through the Fontus is filtered and used to cool the hot side of the Peltier element, while a quantity will be channeled towards the cool side. Wind stoppers slow the flow, allowing air to interact longer with the cooling element and condense atmospheric moisture to droplets that flow into the bottle.

No human intervention is needed

Fontus needs no human intervention, at least nothing else than powering the device on or off, as desired. In ideal conditions, Fontus can supply as much as half a liter (0.13 US gal) of water for each hour spent pedaling, but Kristof Retezar says that the average, steady flow is a drop of water per minute.

Definitely not enough to start a water business, but it's more than nothing when cycling out through the countryside. Kristof Retezar is also working on a way to sort out the problem with water extracted from polluted air.

Plus, his idea could be used at a larger scale in water-deficient areas, especially as it gets the necessary energy from the sun. Cool stuff, hope things get more efficient!
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