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In many countries like India it is difficult to obtain water resources for irrigation or other
purposes, especially in the arid regions. The problem of water scarcity is also observed in other
places of the world due to lack of rainfall. According to WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring
Programme (JMP) of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), about 663 million people are
still lacked improved drinking water sources all over the world. This is mainly due to a rapidly-
growing population and a lack of government planning, in addition to the fact that many
communities are rural and reside far from typical urban sources of water. This provides a general
insight into the harsh living conditions of people all over the globe, and highlights their need for
water which is essential for basic survival, hygiene, irrigation, and many other fundamental

With ever-increasing water pollution and global warming, the conventional sources of pure water
are fast depleting and increasingly proving inadequate to feed the needs of the vast global
population. Also, due to their inherently fixed nature, the water generated from traditional
sources such as rivers, lakes and ground need to be transported over long distances before final
consumption. This increases costs and requires immense amounts of energy. The sheer severity
of the situation fortifies the notion that a solution to this crisis must be found soon.

The atmospheric water generator (AWG) stands out as an important innovation with a strong
potential to combat the problem of pure water scarcity by producing liquid water from air. In
principle, AWGs extract water molecules from air, causing a phase change from vapor to liquid.
Three main variations of this technology are presented in literature; AWGs function either by
cooling ambient air on a cold surface to temperatures below its dew point using peltier effect or
by thermoelectric cooling, concentrating water vapor by using solid or liquid desiccants, or using
vapour compression refrigeration system.

1.1 Current scenario

The desiccant and condensation methodologies are the most practically viable. In desiccant-
based systems, water vapor molecules are initially captured by special solvents or solid
mediums. During the extraction phase, after a specific diffusion time, water is baked from the
desiccant by subjecting the carrier medium to heat. This process underlies desiccant-based

AWGs and is currently industrially followed by manufacturers like SunToWater Technologies
and Aqua Sciences. A common problem typically faced in this system is corrosion which
damages the functional components. Traditionally, condensation-based AWGs operate on the
vapor compression refrigeration cycle, and are made available on the market by manufacturers
like Skywater, EcoloBlue and Iysert Aqua. The major disadvantage of these systems is huge
power consumption and they contribute to global warming by the usage of refrigerants.

The device incorporates thermoelectric coolers (TECs) that cool humid air that is sucked into the
system by intake fans. The air is cooled by the cold side of the modules’ plates to temperatures
below the dew point of air, thus condensing the water content of the humid air. These systems
having a major advantage over other two, since it has no moving parts, highly compact, and is
more flexible. But it has some disadvantages such as high-power consumption, low conversion
efficiency. Here, in our proposed system, the method to develop a water condensation system is
developed based on both thermoelectric cooling and vapour compression refrigeration system.

1.2 Thermoelectric cooling

Thermoelectric cooling uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junction of two
different types of materials. A Peltier cooler, heater, or thermoelectric heat pump is a solid-state
active heat pump which transfers heat from one side of the device to the other, with consumption
of electric energy, depending on the direction of the current. It can be used either for heating or
for cooling, although in practice the main application is cooling. This technology is far less
commonly applied to refrigeration than vapour compression system. The primary advantages of

Fig.1.1 Thermoelectric module (Kabeela et al. 2014)

a Peltier cooler compared to a vapor-compression refrigerator are its lack of moving parts or
circulating liquid, very long life, invulnerability to leaks, small size, and flexible shape. Its main
disadvantages are high cost and poor power efficiency.

1.3 Vapour compression refrigeration system

The vapor-compression uses a circulating liquid refrigerants as the medium which absorbs and
removes heat from the space to be cooled and subsequently rejects that heat elsewhere. Figure 1
depicts a typical, single-stage vapor-compression system. All such systems have four
components: a compressor, a condenser, a thermal expansion valve (also called a throttle valve or
metering device. The main advantage of these systems lies in their ability to exploit the large
amounts of water that are available in the atmosphere. These systems are especially suited to
areas with high temperatures and humidity levels that increase the water yield due to the
increased water content of air. compression refrigeration cycle AWGs are generally very complex
with moving parts and require regular maintenance (Arora C.P, 2004).


Vapour compression refrigeration system, can be utilised to generate fresh drinking water by
extracting water from humid ambient air by using Cooling Condensation process. In a cooling
condensation based atmospheric water generator, a compressor circulates refrigerant through a
condenser and an evaporator coil which cools the air surrounding it, lowering the air’s
temperature to that of dew point and causing water to condense. A controlled-speed fan pushes
filtered air over the coil. The resulting water is then passed into a holding tank with purification
and filtration system to keep the water pure. Atmospheric water generating technology offers
99.9% pure drinking water 365 days a year. The atmospheric water generator is an
environmentally safe source of sustainable water.

The water generator, made from air-conditioning and dehumidifier parts, can generate enough
amount of water to meet the drinking water requirements of a regular household. It also
addresses the need for safe drinking water in remote areas and responds to the impending
scarcity of potable water in certain areas due to the effects of global warming and natural
disasters. It can also replace or supplement the currently available water devices in the market to
reach the more remote areas (Anbarasu and Pavithra, 2011).

A senior design project was aimed at designing and creating a prototype of an atmospheric water
generator (Niewenhuis et al,2012). They have tried to incorporate Liquid Desiccant method to
extract humidity from air and convert it into drinking water. Wet desiccation is a process where a
brine solution is exposed to humid air in order to absorb water vapour from that air. The solution
is then sent into a regenerator where the water vapour is extracted from the solution. This method
has grown in popularity because of its efficiency and the ease with which it can be adapted to
renewable energy, particularly solar.

In their paper (Niewenhuis et al.,2012) and others have also described a novel and unique
method to extract water from air. They have said that it is possible to compress humid air so
much that it will start condensing at the ambient temperature itself. As pressure increases the
dew point rises; thus, enough compression will force the dew point above the ambient
temperature resulting in spontaneous condensation.

But compressing air to extract water could potentially require pressures up to five times the
ambient pressure. This will require a very sturdy tank that can handle high amounts of stress in
its walls. This method has great potential for low energy demands, especially if one was able to
recapture some of the energy in the compressed air using a turbine or piston. The energy
efficiency of this design option has great promise but it is heavily dependent on compressor and
decompressor efficiency and humidity. The primary advantage of pressure dehumidification is
the low energy requirement; the only unavoidable loss is the pressure applied to the water
vapour. However, any inefficiency in the compression/decompression cycle is amplified by the
large volume of air processed per unit water produced. Additionally, the rate of production when
driven by natural convection cooling to the atmosphere is too slow for significant production;
some mechanism to speed up this heat transfer needs to be implemented, increasing the energy

(Kabeela et al.,2014) has done thermodynamic analysis for a Peltier device which is used to
develop a device that uses the principle of latent heat to convert molecules of water vapour into
water droplets called the Atmospheric Water Generator. It has been introduced a bit before,
though it is not very common in India and some other countries. It has a great application
standing on such age of technology where we all are running behind renewable sources. Here,
the goal is to obtain that specific temperature, called the dew point temperature, practically or
experimentally to condense water from atmospheric humid air with the help of thermoelectric
Peltier (TEC) couple.

(Anbarasu and Pavithra,2011), infer that even though dehumidifying unit using vapour
compression refrigeration system is more effective than the Peltier system but it lacks in the
sense that it is not portable and it generates a lot of sound. And also, this system is costlier.

(Niewenhuis et al., 2012), it is observed that even though dehumidification by liquid desiccant
method is new and possess a lot of potential theoretically but when the researchers made a
prototype and tested it the results were not satisfactory. The device could produce only 72.1 ml
of water per kW-hr.

(Kabeela et al., 2014), this paper emphasis the fact that dehumidification unit using Peltier
device is very portable and environment friendly. It has simple design and has high endurance

2.1 Problem formulation

Current systems lack the ability to work in different ambient conditions and are not energy
agnostic. Proposed systems from above papers lack ability to extract more than 50% of
atmospheric water while processing a kilogram of air. Those systems consumed more power to
produce a litre of potable water.

2.2 Objective

1. To design and develop a hybrid atmospheric water generator that can work in any

2. To reduce power consumption by incorporating an engineered design.

3. To design a convenient chassis and instrument components accordingly.

4. To conduct a detailed performance study to enhance output by using suitable blower.


The methodology description is meant to bring clarification to the means and methods used regarding the
execution of the project in which the product was developed. The product development process will be
divided into steps and described, see Fig. 3.1 below. The process described is no existing documented
development process but is rather a merge of several product development processes.

Fig 3.1: Schematic of the product development process

3.Concept generation
5.Concept development and eliminations
7.Concept selection
8.Detail design/improvements
9.Final prototype

The project was initiated with an exploration phase. In this initial phase, the main objective was
the exploration of the scientific scope relevant to the product being developed. This knowledge
was attained foremost by two means. The first of these was the initial restudy including the

selection and review of related literature, study on master and doctoral thesis and internet
searches on related topics. Some more practical and applicable information was also
continuously attained mainly from academic personnel and industrial technical staff.

The second part of the restudy phase was the benchmarking process, which was presumed to
eliminate less suitable technologies and be evidence for the applicability of more suiting ones.
Benchmarking is the process during which one unit turns to another in the purpose of learning
from it. The main factors relevant for this learning process are, one, identifying the best practice, the
unit who possesses the leading role and from whom one wishes to learn from. The other important factor
relating to the benchmarking is identifying the comparable factors on which the benchmarking will be
based. In our application, the main factors for the benchmarking where technical issues that derived from
the actual extraction process.

Once the initial restudies had been performed some sense of the scope of relevant and applicable
technologies had been attained. Based on this knowledge a concept generation was performed.
The method used to perform this task was brainstorming. This resulted in basic design concepts
that were meant to solve the main objective of the product, namely water generation. Once these
common and widely used steps had been performed the concepts where to be tested. The testing
was performed by prototyping the concept in order to physically test the function. Prototyping is
the method of building physical prototypes in order to generate, develop, communicate and
testing ideas. This prototype had to demonstrate the most or one of the most critical functions of
the product. This is a way of physically realizing and testing ideas in an early stage and is
normally referred to as the CFP, Critical Function Prototype.

Based on the results from the CFP concepts would either be eliminated or further developed.
Two main methods were used in order to select the concepts to pursue. The first method is meant
to quantify the wishes of the group members in order so get a measurable value of the relevance
of different product functions and qualities. These preferences are based on the written and
spoken statements of the corporate liaisons. Each individual graded each feature based on its
importance. The sum of the grades attained for each feature was then calculated and divided by
the total amount of points given in order to attain a relative precentral value. These precentral
values act as a base for the weight of the feature. These weights gave a clearer overview of the
most important aspects and also facilitated the weighting in the next step. To compare the

different concepts and chose the best one the Concept Selection Matrix presented by Ulrich and
Eppinger (2014) was used. The matrix utilized the weight of each function attained in the
previous step and multiplies this value with the grade indicating how well the actual concept
fulfils the task/function. The total sum of all task/function is then calculated. The concept
resulting in the largest total sum is the most suitable one the purpose.

To ensure an open mind during the concept generation and selection phases and that concepts
from the entire scope of solutions are being considered meaning that even the less likely ideas
are being further investigated a second prototype was built, the Dark Horse Prototype (DHP).
DHP is a prototype based on a concept with a high risk of failure but at the same time a high
payoff in case of successful results. This enables project groups to allocate time and effort just
for high risk/ high profit solutions that otherwise easily get excluded because of the high risk.
Just as the CFP the DHP is not meant to be technically perfected but is rather meant to operate as
a base for an incremental refining and tuning process. The third prototype built during the project
was also the last one before the final product (not a part of the project). This prototype is called
the Functional Prototype (FP) and should be a working prototype with all of the main functions
working in a reliable way. By this point no changes in technology or design of the product
should be made. The final product should be very similar to the FP. Only minor modifications
should be made.

The Brainstorming process resulted in several technological directions. Some of these well-
known and widely utilized in various applications such as the vapour compression cycle. Others
were more uncertain and not as widely utilized e.g. the use of electromagnetic fields or
microwaves. After eliminations and concept selections two main technical directions became
clear. The first of these is the vapour compression cycle, used in numerous climate products such
as refrigerators, air conditioning systems and dehumidifiers. The second direction was the
desiccant cycle which is somewhat less known but is used in some dehumidification systems for
industrial use. Common for both technologies are the exploitation of the natural moist in the air
in order to extract water.

This product development method, based on several prototypes with different range, can be
effective when the goal is to derive a new method or system for solving a problem. If the goal is
to present a completed product, ready to manufacture, it may not be the best method to use. The

reason for this is that it can be very time consuming to manufacture several prototypes, on
expense off the fine tuning that often is needed for a product ready for manufacturing. When
using a method based on prototyping, the end result is iterated from several prototypes. The
result from this should produce a final product with a well-tested basis. After going through all
the available options, we finally concluded that we would use a combined vapour compression
and Peltier device to create the Atmospheric Water Generator.


Thermodynamic analysis forms an important part of this project as this helps to determine the
temperature at which the device must be maintained in order to condense the humidity present in
air at the different atmospheric conditions.
4.1. Estimation of dew point temperature
Dew-point temperature (Tdp) is the temperature at which humidity in the air starts condensing at
the same rate at which it is evaporating at a given constant barometric pressure. Dry-bulb
temperature (DBT) is the temperature of air measured by a thermometer freely exposed to the air
but shielded from radiation and moisture. DBT is the temperature that is usually thought of as air
temperature, and it is the true thermodynamic temperature.

Relative humidity (RH) is the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapour to the equilibrium
vapour pressure of water at the same temperature. The dew point is the saturation temperature for
water in air. The dew point is associated with relative humidity. A high relative humidity implies
that the dew point is closer to the current air temperature. Relative humidity of 100% indicates
the dew point is equal to the current temperature and that the air is maximally saturated with
water. When the moisture content remains constant and temperature increases, relative humidity
decreases (Cengel and Boles,2006).

A well-known approximation used to calculate the dew point, Tdp, given just the actual ("dry
bulb") air temperature, T and relative humidity (in percent), RH, is the Magnus formula:

γ (T , RH )=ln ( 100 )+ cbT+T (4.1)

cγ (T , RH )
T dp= (4.2)
b−γ (T , RH )

(Where, b = 17.67 & c = 243.50C and T is in 0C)

The above formula is used to calculate the dew point temperature for different atmospheric
conditions at which the device may be subjected to operate. Operating parameters are calculated
and tabulated with the help of microsoft excel.

Table 4.1 Dew point temperature calculations at 300C and different relative humidity conditions

Dry bulb temperature Relative Humidity Dew point temperature

(℃) (%) (℃)

30 45 16.77735769

30 50 18.46356201

30 55 19.99121587

30 60 21.40183613

30 65 22.71309952

30 70 23.93889215

30 75 25.09032956

30 80 26.17645367

30 85 27.20472258

30 90 28.18136311

30 95 29.11163002

30 100 30

4.2. Estimation of amount of water

Amount of water (in L) present in 1m 3 of air for different humidity and temperature
conditionsSaturation Pressure (Ps) is the pressure of a vapour which is in equilibrium with its
liquid (as steam with water) i.e. the maximum pressure possible by water vapour at a given
temperature. The saturation pressure of water at different atmospheric temperature is obtained
from the commercially available steam tables.

Air is a mixture of both air molecules and water molecules. Partial Pressure of water (Pw) is the
pressure of water vapour present in a mixture of air and water vapour. Relative Humidity (RH) is
the ratio of partial pressure of water (Pw) to that of saturation pressure (Ps) i.e. Thus, from
saturation pressure (Ps) and relative humidity (RH) data partial pressure of water (Pw) can be
obtained as

RH = ×100 (4.3)

PW =RH × (4.4)

Humidity Ratio gives the volume of water (in m 3) present in 1m3 of air. Humidity ratio can also
be expressed in terms of partial pressure of water (Pw) as

Humidity ratio= 0.6212× (4.5)
P a−PW

(Where Pa is the atmospheric pressure i.e. Pa=1.01325 bar)

Humidity ratio gives the amount of water (in m3) present in 1m3 of air. Also, we know that 1m3 is
equal to 1000 litres. Thus, multiplying humidity ratio by 1000 gives the maximum amount of
water (in litres) that is present in 1m3 of air.

Table 4.2 Amount of water which can be obtained by processing 1m3 of air at

75% relative humidity for different temperature conditions.

Temperature Saturation Relative Partial Humidity Amount of

(℃) pressure(bar) humidity pressure of ratio water(ml)
(%) water (bar)

25 0.03167 75 0.0237525 0.014930866 14.93086642

26 0.03361 75 0.0252075 0.015868816 15.86881637

27 0.03565 75 0.0267375 0.016858099 16.8580986

28 0.03779 75 0.0283425 0.017899178 17.89917835

29 0.04005 75 0.0300375 0.019002327 19.00232656

30 0.04241 75 0.0318075 0.020158354 20.15835365

31 0.04492 75 0.03369 0.021392442 21.3924415

32 0.04755 75 0.0356625 0.022690629 22.69062872

33 0.05031 75 0.0377325 0.02405863 24.05863042

34 0.0532 75 0.0399 0.025497303 25.49730313

35 0.05624 75 0.04218 0.027017579 27.01757855

36 0.05942 75 0.044565 0.028615525 28.61552517

37 0.06276 75 0.04707 0.030302366 30.30236602

38 0.06626 75 0.049695 0.032079425 32.07942463

39 0.06992 75 0.05244 0.033948106 33.94810629

40 0.07376 75 0.05532 0.035920203 35.92020294

41 0.07779 75 0.0583425 0.03800267 38.00267042

42 0.08201 75 0.0615075 0.040197496 40.19749565

43 0.08642 75 0.064815 0.042506793 42.50679277

44 0.09103 75 0.0682725 0.044938102 44.9381017

45 0.09585 75 0.0718875 0.047499263 47.49926304


The various technologies that are currently being exploited in commercial Atmospheric Water
Generators and other related devices such as refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Due to the inherent technological nature of the project, it involved a lot of literature survey,
scientific analysis and study of various thermodynamic cycles.

5.1 Vapour compression cycle

This is the preferred technology for most of the commercial products today. It is presently being
used in most of the commercial AWGs, refrigerators, ACs and dehumidifiers. The advantages of
this technology are that it is well documented, reliable and consistent.

Fig.5.1 Schematic diagram of the Vapour Compression Cycle Showing the Four Components
(Anbarasu and Pavithra, 2011)

The vapour compression cycle consists of a refrigerant that passes through a series of changes in
a closed continuous cycle. It consists mainly of four steps:

1. Refrigerant gas at low pressure enters the compressor and leaves it pressurized. In the process,
the gas temperature also increases and it makes it easier to process the heat transfer due to take
place in the next step.

2. The high temperature, high pressure gas then enters the heat-exchanging (condenser) coils and
releases the heat to the surroundings. In this step, the refrigerant gas becomes a sub-cooled high-
pressure liquid.

3. The high-pressure liquid then passes through the expansion valve that instantly reduces the
pressure and temperature of the refrigerant.

4. The cold liquid refrigerant goes through the evaporator, absorbing heat energy from the
surroundings. The heat absorbing leads to an evaporation of the refrigerant liquid into low
pressure gas. The low-pressure gas then flows back to the compressor and the cycle continues.

In case of AWGs, the heat absorbed by the refrigerant in the evaporator step cools the coils and,
therefore, the water vapours in the air being passed over them condenses on the cold coil
surfaces. This water is then collected and filtered to generate pure, drinking water.

5.2 Thermoelectric cooling - Peltier effect

This principle is presently used in few commercial dehumidifiers and refrigerators. It works on a
principle called Peltier effect that generates a temperature difference across a Peltier element
(thermocouple) when an electric current is passed through it. The key advantages of using this
principle are that it makes the devices highly compact, noiseless and light in weight.

Thermoelectric cooling uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junctions of two
different types of materials. A Peltier cooler, heater, or thermoelectric heat pump is a solid-state
active heat pump which transfers heat from one side of the device to the other, with consumption
of electrical energy, depending on the direction of the current. Such an instrument is also called a
Peltier device, Peltier heat pump, solid state refrigerator, or thermoelectric cooler (TEC).

The Peltier effect occurs whenever electrical current flows through two dissimilar conductors;
depending on the direction of current flow, the junction of the two conductors will either absorb
or release heat. In the world of thermoelectric technology, semiconductors (usually Bismuth
Telluride) are the material of choice for producing the Peltier effect because they can be more
easily optimized for pumping heat. Using this type of material, a Peltier device (i.e.,
thermoelectric module) can be constructed in its simplest form around a single semiconductor
“pellet” which is soldered to electrically-conductive material on each end (usually plated
copper). In this configuration, the second dissimilar material required for the Peltier effect, is
actually the copper connection paths to the power supply. that the heat will be moved in the
direction of charge carrier movement throughout the circuit (actually, it is the charge carriers that
transfer the heat).

5.2.1 Peltier cooling module
Peltier cooling module which works on thermoelectric refrigeration, aims to provide cooling by
using thermoelectric effects rather than the more prevalent conventional methods like vapour
compression cycle or the vapour absorption cycle. There are three types of thermoelectric effect:
The Seebeck effect, the Peltier effect, the Thomson effect. From these three effects, Peltier cooler
works on the Peltier effect; which states that when voltage is applied across two junctions of
dissimilar electrical conductors, heat is absorbed from one junction and heat is rejected at
another junction. Peltier coolers are basically used as a cooling element in laser diodes, CCD
cameras (charge coupled device), blood analyzers, portable picnic coolers laser diodes,
microprocessors, blood analyzers and portable picnic coolers.
5.2.2 Thermoelectric effect
The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage
and vice versa. A thermoelectric device creates voltage when there is a different temperature on
each side. Conversely, when a voltage is applied to it, it creates a temperature difference. At the
atomic scale, an applied temperature gradient causes charge carriers in the material to diffuse
from the hot side to the cold side. The term thermoelectric effect encompasses three separately
identified effects: the Seebeck effect, Peltier effect, and Thomson effect.

5.2.3 Seebeck effect

The Seebeck effect is the conversion of heat directly into electricity at the junction of dissimilar
electrical conductors. It is named for the Baltic German physicist Thomas Johann Seebeck

Fig.5.2: The Seebeck effect (Kabeela et al. 2014)

As shown in Figure 1, the conductors are two dissimilar metals denoted as material A and
material B. The junction temperature at A is used as a reference and is maintained at a relatively

cool temperature (TC). The junction temperature at B is used as temperature higher than
temperature TC. With heat applied to junction B, a voltage (Eout) will appear across terminals
T1 and T2 and hence an electric current would flow continuously in this closed circuit. This
voltage is known as the Seebeck EMF, can be expressed as

Eout = α (TH –TC) (5.1)

α = dE / dT = αA – αB
α is the differential Seebeck coefficient or (thermoelectric power coefficient) between the two
materials, A and B, positive when the direction of electric current is same as the direction of
thermal current, unit is V/K.
Eout is the output voltage in volts.
TH and TC are the hot and cold junction temperatures, respectively, in Kelvin.

5.2.4 The Peltier effect

Peltier found there was an opposite phenomenon to the Seebeck Effect, whereby thermal energy
could be absorbed at one dissimilar metal junction and discharged at the other junction when an
electric current flowed within the closed circuit. In Figure, the circuit is modified to obtain a
different configuration that illustrates the Peltier Effect, a phenomenon opposite that of the
Seebeck Effect. If a voltage (Ein) is applied to terminals T1 and T2, an electrical current (1) will
flow in the circuit. As a result of the current flow, a slight cooling effect (QC) will occur at
thermocouple junction A (where heat is absorbed), and a heating effect (QH) will occur at
junction B (where heat is expelled). Note that this effect may be reversed whereby a change in
the direction of electric current flow will reverse the direction of heat flow. Joule heating, having
a magnitude of I2 x R (where R is the electrical resistance), also occurs in the conductors as a
result of current flow. This Joule heating effect acts in opposition to the Peltier Effect and causes
a net reduction of the available cooling. The Peltier effect can be expressed mathematically as

Qc ∨Qh=β × I (5.2)

¿( αT ) × I (5.3)

Where,β is the differential Peltier coefficient between the two materials A and B in the
electric current flow in amperes.Qc and Qh are the rates of cooling and heating, respectively, in

5.2.5 Thomson effect

As per the Thomson effect, when an electric current is passed through a conductor having a
temperature gradient over its length, heat will be either absorbed by or expelled from the
conductor. Whether heat is absorbed or expelled depends on the direction of both the electric
current and temperature gradient. This phenomenon is known as the Thomson Effect.

Fig.5.3 Thomson effect (Kabeela et al. 2014)

5.2.6 Transport properties

The thermoelectric phenomena are reversible in the sense that they do not of themselves give
rise to thermodynamic losses. However, they are always, in practice, accompanied by the
irreversible effects of electrical resistance and thermal conduction. It turns out that the
performance of any thermocouple as an energy convertor can be expressed in terms of the
differential Seebeck coefficient and the thermal and electrical resistances of the two branches.
These resistances depend on the thermal and electrical resistivities and the ratios of length to
cross-sectional area.The electrical resistivity ρ is the reciprocal of the electrical conductivity,
which is defined by the relation,
I =σVAL (5.3)
Where, ‘I’ is the electric current through a specimen of constant cross-sectional area A and
length L when a voltage V is applied. Likewise, the thermal conductivity, K is defined by the
Q=−KA ∆ TL (5.4)

and thermal conductivities of a given material as its transport properties. All these properties
will generally be temperature-dependent.
5.2.7 Working of Peltier cooler
The Peltier effect occurs whenever electrical current flows through two dissimilar conductors;
depending on the direction of current flow, the junction of the two conductors will either absorb
or release heat. In the world of thermoelectric technology, semiconductors (usually Bismuth
Telluride) are the material of choice for producing the Peltier effect because they can be more
easily optimized for pumping heat. Using this type of material, a Peltier device (i.e.,
thermoelectric module) can be constructed in its simplest form around a single semiconductor
“pellet” which is soldered to electrically-conductive material on each end (usually plated
copper). In this configuration, the second dissimilar material required for the Peltier effect, is
actually the copper connection paths to the power supply. It is important to note that the heat will
be moved in the direction of charge carrier movement throughout the circuit (actually, it is the
charge carriers that transfer the heat) (Kabeela et al. 2014).

5.2.8 Peltier cooling with P & N type of semiconductors

By arranging N and P-type pellets in a “couple” (see Fig. 5.4) and forming a junction between
them with a plated copper tab, it is possible to configure a series circuit which can keep all of the
heat moving in the same direction. As shown in the illustration, with the free (bottom) end of the
P-type pellet connected to the positive voltage potential and the free (bottom) end of the N-type
pellet similarly connected to the negative side of the voltage. As we have seen in previous
section, for N-type of semiconductor, heat is absorbed from the junction near to the negative
terminal and heat is releases at the junction near to the positive terminal. For P-type of
semiconductor, heat is absorbed from the junction near to positive terminal and released at the
junction near to negative terminal.

Fig. 5.4 Peltier cooling by couple of N&P (Kabeela et al.,2014)

By arranging the circuit as like in Figure, it is possible to release heat to the one side and absorb
from another side. Using these special properties of the TE “couple”, it is possible to team many
pellets together in rectangular arrays to create practical thermoelectric modules as in Figure

Fig 5.5 Peltier cooling by multiple pallets (Kabeela et al.,2014)

5.2.9 Development of Peltier cooler

As we have seen in previous section, for producing thermoelectric effect couples of P and N type
semiconductors are connected in series by metal plates. By doing this it absorbs the heat from
one side and releases the heat to another side. So, when solid state P-N materials are connected
electrically in series and thermally in parallel it makes one thermoelectric unit.

Fig.5.6 Construction of Peltier module

A typical TEC module comprises of two highly thermally conductive substrates (A12O3, AlN,
BeO) that serve as Hot/Cold plates. An array of p-type and n-type semiconductor (Bi2Te3,
Sb2Te3, Bi2Se3, PbTe, Si-Ge) pellets are connected electrically in series sandwiched between
the substrates. The device is normally attached to the cold side of the TEC module, and a heat
sink which is required for enhanced heat dissipation is attached to the hot side. Solder is
normally used to connect the TEC elements onto the conducting pads of the substrates. The
construction of a single stage thermoelectric module is shown in figure

Considering a typical thermoelectric system designed to cool air in an enclosure (e.g., picnic
box, equipment enclosure, etc.) as in Fig. 5.6; this is probably the most common type of TE

application. Here the challenge is to “gather” heat from the inside of the box, pump it to a heat
exchanger on the outside of the box, and release the collected heat into the ambient air. Usually,
this is done by employing two heat sink/fan combinations in conjunction with one or more
Peltier devices. One of the heat sinks is used on the inside of the enclosure; cooled to a
temperature below that of the air in the box, the sink picks up heat as the air circulates between
the fins. In the simplest case, the Peltier device is mounted between this “cold side” sink and a
“hot side” sink. As direct current passes through the thermoelectric device, it actively pumps
heat from the cold side sink to the one on the hot side. The fan on the hot side then circulates
ambient air between the sink’s fins to absorb some of the collected heat. Note that the heat
dissipated on the hot side not only includes what is pumped from the box, but also the heat
produced within the Peltier device itself (V x I)

Fig.5.7 Configuration of air-to-air thermoelectric cooler (Kabeela et al. 2014)

Let’s look at this in terms of real numbers. Imagine that we have to pump 25 watts from a box to
bring its temperature to 3°C from 20°C (ambient). To accomplish this, we might well have to

take the temperature of the cold side sink down to 0°C. Using a Peltier device which draws 4.1
amps at 10.4 V, the hot side of the system will have to dissipate the 25 watts from the thermal
load plus the 42.6 watts it takes to power the TE module (for a total of 67.6 watts). Employing a
hot side sink and fan with an effective thermal resistance of 0.148 C/W. The temperature of the

hot side sink will rise approximately 10°C above ambient. It should be noted that, to achieve the
17° C drop between the box temperatures and ambient, we had to create a 30°C (54°F)
temperature difference across the Peltier device.

5.2.10 Heat sink

Performance of thermoelectric cooler can be improved by working on thermal side. By properly

designing the heat sink on hot side and cold side can improve this system. To obtain the best
performance, a Peltier cooler must be designed with heat sink thermal resistance as small as
possible. The conventional heat sink unit utilized at the TEC hot side is composed of fins and a
fan. The fins are employed to increase heat transfer area. The fan conducts heat transfer through
convection. Although the thermal resistance of such a unit can be as low as 0.1 K/W, it is usually
larger in size. The conventional heat sink can only be employed in situations where space is not
restricted. Various researchers are working on designing proper heat sinks that can be applied to
TEC, which includes

1. Phase changing materials

2. Thermo symphonic heat exchanger
3. Micro-channel

5.3 Improvements (Hybrid technology)

The proposed system uses combination of these two technologies in order to provide flexibility
in different humidity conditions. The outlet air from vapour compression is fed to Peltier to
precool and to extract more air. This seemed to improve amount of water extracted by 6%.

Fig.5.8 Schematic of hybrid system

Peltier system works well in less humid conditions, as a result output increased from 2ml -6ml
when processing 1m of air. Air enters through condenser and then passes though evaporator,

thereafter further cooled in Peltier heat sink to produce water.


This project is designed on the basis of vapour compression refrigeration principle as well as
thermoelectric cooling technique. The main components of this hybrid atmospheric water
generator are, compressor, condenser, capillary tube, evaporator, thermoelectric module,
switched mode power supply(SMPS) and frame which support the entire system. Each
component is tested and assembled as shown in the line diagram.

Fig.6.1 Schematic diagram of hybrid system

Components Nos Specification

Compressor 1 ⅛ ton

Capillary tube 1 Inner diameter =0.5 mm

Evaporator 1 Copper tube of Diameter = 5mm

Condenser 1 Copper tube of diameter=5mm

Peltier module 4 60W

SMPS 2 12V, 1.5 A

6.1 Frame
The entire system needed to be supported by some kind of frame; this frame was designed and
built to carry the load of all of the equipment for water generation. This is made of mild steel
angle bars jointed by electric arc welding.

Fig.6.2 Angle bar MS

6.2 Compressor
A compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure and temperature of a gas by
reducing its volume. Compressor used in our proposed system is a positive displacement
reciprocating compressor manufactured by godrej electricals and electronics of capacity ⅛ hp as
shown in the Fig. 6.2. The compressor ensures positive admission and delivery preventing
undesired reversal of flow within the machine.

Fig.6.3 Compressor
6.3 Condenser
In vapour compression refrigeration cycle ultimately heat is rejected in the condenser. In our
proposed system an air-cooled condenser is used, heat is removed by air using forced convection,
air is accelerated using a blower. The condenser is made of copper tubing provided with fins to

Fig.6.4 Condenser

improve air-side heat transfer coefficient. The copper tube having internal diameter 5 mm and
length about 1.2m is used. The refrigerant flows inside the tube and air flows outside as in the

6.4 Expansion valve

An expansion device in any refrigeration system normally serves two purposes. One is the
thermodynamic function of expanding the liquid refrigerant from condenser pressure to the
evaporator pressure. The other is the control function which may involve the supply of liquid
refrigerant at the rate at which it is evaporated. In our proposed system, capillary tube serves the
function as expansion device. It is a long narrow tube having internal diameter 0.5mm
connecting the condenser directly to the evaporator.

6.5 Evaporator
The evaporator is the component of a refrigeration system in which is heat is removed from air
or any other body required to be cooled by the evaporating refrigerant. In this unit evaporator is
of flooded or direct expansion type. The main advantage of using flooded evaporator is that the
refrigerant covers the entire heat transfer surface. The heat from the surrounding air is extracted
and liquid refrigerant turns into saturated vapour state and circulated back to the compressor.

6.6 Thermoelectric module

A practical thermoelectric module generally consists of two or more elements of n and p-type
doped semiconductor material that are connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel.
These thermoelectric elements and their electrical interconnects typically are mounted between
two ceramic substrates. The substrates hold the overall structure together mechanically and
electrically insulate the individual elements from one another and from external mounting
surfaces. In our proposed system, the Peltier module used is TEC1-12706.
Size: 40mm x 40mm x 4mm
Voltage: 0-15.2V
Current: 0-7 A
Operating temperature: -55°C to 85°C
Maximum power consumption: 60W
Number of modules used: 4 Nos

These devices must be used together with heat sink, which serve as condensing surface.

Fig.6.5 Peltier module TCE12607 Fig.6.6 Peltier heat sink assembly

6.7 Switched mode power supply (SMPS)

A switched-mode power supply is an electronic power supply that incorporates a switching
regulator to convert electrical power efficiently. an SMPS transfers power from a DC or AC
source to DC loads. SMPS units are used to provide regulated 12V DC load to the peltier

Fig.6.7 SMPS

Voltage regulation is achieved by varying the ratio of on-to-off time. In contrast, a linear power
supply regulates the output voltage by continually dissipating power in the pass transistor. This
higher power conversion efficiency is an important advantage of a switched-mode power supply.

Switched-mode power supplies may also be substantially smaller and lighter than a linear supply
due to the smaller transformer size and weight.

6.7 Sensors
A sensor is a device, module, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its
environment and send the information to user. Several sensors are used in this system for proper
detection of temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.
UT363 BT is a mini wind speed and temperature tester. The lightweight device is equipped with
the latest magnetic sensing technology, which can directly display the air flow speed as well as
temperature of the system on LCD screen. Model of such a sensor is shown in Fig.6.5.

Fig.6.8 UT363 BT

Table 6.1 Specification

Specification Range Resolution Accuracy

Wind speed 0 to 45m/s 0.1m/s (5%+0.5)

Temperature -10 to 50C0 0.1C0 2C0

Beaufort scale Level 0~12 1 1

Acrylic flowmeter is used used to measure the flow rate or quantity of a gas or liquid moving
through a pipe Fig.6.6.

Fig.6.8 Acrylic flowmeter
Table.6.2 Acrylic flowmeter specifications

Specifications: 6A01 Acrylic Flow Meters

Accuracy +/- 5% of Full Scale reading

Maximum temperature 65° C (150° F)

Maximum pressure 6.9 bars (100 psig)

Meter block Clear, Machined Acrylic

Float materials Black Glass, Stainless Steel

6.8 Refrigerant (134a)

The refrigerant R134a is the chemical compound tetrafluoroethane comprising of two atoms of
carbon, two atoms of hydrogen and four atoms of fluorine. Its chemical formula is CF3CH2Fthe
molecular weight of refrigerant R134a is 133.4 and its boiling point is -15.1oF.R134a has zero
potential to cause the depletion of the ozone layer and very little greenhouse effect. R134a is the
nonflammable and non-explosive, has toxicity within limits and good chemical stability. It has
somewhat high affinity for the moisture. The overall physical and thermodynamic properties of
refrigerant R134a closely resemble with that of refrigerant R12. Due to all the above factors,
R134a is considered to be an excellent replacement for R12 refrigerant.

6.9 Proposed system

Individual components are tested and are assembled as shown in the 2D diagram. Supporting
frame is fabricated by arc welding.

Fig.6.9 2D top view Fig.6.10 2D side view

Fig.6.11 Photograph of the proposed system

Chassis is made of mild steel angle bars, arc welded to form the stiff structure to support the
entire system. Individual components are placed according to the design drawings. The whole
system is covered using aluminum sheets(2mm) and weld mesh(3mm). Aluminum sheets were
riveted to angle bars and meshes were welder to structure. Compressor is bolted to the structure
with the help of metal plate bended accordingly. Air condensing pipe is wrapped with mineral
wool to provide thermal insulation. Thermoelectric modules were stacked using fevitite, an
epoxy adhesive which can stick metal to ceramic and can withstand elevated temperatures.
Compressor and blower were connected in parallel and plugged to direct supply whereas
thermoelectric modules were rectified through 2 switched mode power supplies. The enter
system was checked for any circuit disconnections and later switched to power.


Performance study has been conducted in order to determine the power consumption, water
extracting efficiency at different environmental conditions to calibrate the output of the system.
An anemometer with a temperature and humidity sensor is used to find temperature and humidity
at air inlet and exit. Amount of water was collected on a measurement test tube. Mass flow rate
of air was obtained using a flow meter.

Table 7.1: Water output on running the device for 15 minutes consuming 74W power taken on
(6th April 2018)


Time Relative humidity Yield of water

(%) (ml)
9 AM 59 104

11 AM 45 80

1 PM 34 64

9 PM 58 120

11 PM 63 128

Table 7.2: Water output on running the device for 15 minutes consuming 74W power taken on
(7th April 2018)
*water output from 15 minutes operation consuming 74w of power taken on April 6

Time Relative Yield of Dry bulb

humidity (%) water (ml) temperature
5 AM 73 80 25

7 AM 86 160 28

9 AM 67 120 30

9 PM 60 80 27

11 PM 68 78 26

Theoretical result on amount of water

*water output from 15 minutes operation consuming 74w of power taken on April 7
Volume of water vs RH


Volume of water (ml)






70 75 80 85 90 95

Fig. 7.1 Amount of water available on 8th April at different humidity’s (theoretical)

Experimental results
Volume of water vs RH


Volume of water (ml)



0 20 40 60 80 100

Fig. 7.2 Amount of water produced on 8th April at different humidity’s(experimental)


desired effect
COP = (9)
work spend on desired effect
(cools .008 kg of air from 32 ℃ to 12 ℃ / electric power)
= 582/137
(COP∗power consumed ∈kW )
Cooling capacity = = 0.16 ton (10)

Time needed to produce one litre of water = 150 minutes

Energy needed to produce one litre = 342.5 W
Cost of producing one litre = 2.7 Rs (Rs 8 per kW)


Water extracting capacity of hybrid AWG (atmospheric water generator) is 6% more than
conventional AWG compared with the output readings from previous journals. Designed system
uses 137W of power in conventional mode (+29W in hybrid mode). Output can be increased
with high mass flow rate and work input. Improvement in evaporator design will improve yield.
Proper instrumentation can make the system more compact and ergonomic. Results from
experiments performed have been presented the main bases for further exploration of alternative
technologies. The main concern relating to the use of the vapour compression cycle is the poor
performance at low humidity levels. Although some design challenges are enclosed with this

technology these challenges are assessed to be manageable and therefore the objective of this
project, mainly finding an applicable technology for water generation using air can be considered

Safety is another issue concerning the choice of technology. In order to be able to utilize this
technology in a commercial product extensive testing must be performed and all the appropriate
safety measures must be taken. As mentioned earlier the technology utilized is strongly
dependent on the environment in which it will be used. Both technologies are applicable, but
suitable in different conditions. They both involve a series of challenges that must be solved but
since this project was performed in research purposes and to confirm functionality, a so-called
proof of concept further refinements and improvements will not be made at this point by the


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