Dutch artist and inventor Ap Verheggen and his team at SunGlacier have debuted their latest in innovative water sourcing technologies – the WaterCube. An inconspicuous steel cube, the small device appears to create water from thin air, using an ingenious combination of solar power generation and cooling technology, to fabricate condensation. The best part is it works better in hotter climates which are all too often suffering from droughts and scarcity of healthy drinking water.

WaterCube Solar Power Clean Water

Condensation accumulates on the WaterCube’s cone and drips down into a glass or bottle.

The 20-inch cube is equipped with solar panels which generate electricity to power a refrigeration element attached to an upside-down cone, on which condensation accumulates and drips down into a glass or bottle to provide fresh, cold drinking water. Speaking to Inhabitat, Verheggen explains that while the science of condensation is simple, the biggest challenge in creating the WaterCube was to cool the cone to the optimum temperature using minimal energy. After trial and error, the inventor and his team were able to achieve their desired temperature with just 25 Watts; the solar panels attached to the cube produce 40 Watts, and the excess energy can be stored in batteries so that the WaterCube can work even on cloudy days. According to the inventor, the amount of water than can be produced is variable based on weather conditions, explaining that the hotter and more humid the weather is, the more water that can be extracted.

The WaterCube was debuted and demonstrated last month at the OECD Water Governance Initiative held in the Hague, the Netherlands. “The Water Cube could grow into an inexpensive, portable and easy-to-maintain, off-grid water generator,” reads SunGlacier’s site. The WaterCube is a follow-up to Verheggen’s powerful art installation which used the same combination of solar powered cooling to create condensation, but shot it up into the air much as a typical public fountain would.

*Never miss a story like this - subscribe to our weekly highlights and stay up-to-date