Access to potable water remains a challenge for people in many areas of the world. Access to potable water during a natural disaster is made more difficult. The energy cost of delivering water to areas where infrastructure is damaged makes sourcing water locally advantageous. However, there remains an energy cost whether it results from desalination, purification, or condensation.
This work extends previous work to provide a potable water source that condenses atmospheric moisture using thermoelectric cooling modules. Improving the efficiency of such a device so that both energy and moisture can be sourced locally will lead to a reliable continuous source of water that does not rely on a supply chain.
One aspect that affects the efficiency of the device is the heat sink design on the hot-side of the thermoelectric cooling module. This works presents, analyzes, and tests four heat sink designs based on thermal performance and overall efficiency. None of the heat sinks meet all criteria appropriate for the application though a combination of factors are used to determine which is best suited. Consideration of mass, cross-sectional area, experimental temperature differential and water collection are compared with the overall surface efficiency determined from computational fluid dynamic simulation lead to the selection of the most appropriate heat sink.