April 3, 2017
Though developing a car that is capable of running on water is still on the backburner for many automotive companies, Ford is taking a look at supplementary technology options that can provide drivers with additional functions and features during the drive. One of the most exciting technologies being developed for Ford vehicles is the opportunity for drivers to enjoy the use of running water inside their vehicle. Though no brand new development in itself, it will be one of the few times that such technology was readily available for individuals to use in a car on the go.
In order for this system to function as desired, a powertrain engineer who was working for the major automaker was able to develop a system that utilizes the condensation from the vehicle's air conditioning system in order to provide drivers and passengers drinkable water. Doug Martin, who developed the system for Ford vehicles, first got his idea for what has been called On-The-Go H20 when he was driving by a billboard on the road in Lima, Peru. The billboard discussed similar technology that was capable of extracting upwards of 25 gallons of water from the surrounding air in a single day. This arrangement made the engineer realize that such technology could be extremely useful for everyday life in America.
In the context of the statistics themselves, the information made Doug Martin realize that there was a great deal of potential water generation available in the air itself. Because of his experience with automobiles, the realization struck him that a large part of developing portable and drinkable water could work with existing systems already found in the vast majority of vehicles. A large percentage of the water produced through such systems was regularly dumped onto the roadside and wasted, and he was determined to fix this concern in order to put the otherwise spent water to good use.
The concept itself is relatively simple, it has only been optimized for use with automotives. For easy use in cars, collectors are positioned near the condenser of the car's air conditioning unit, and the available water collects in a reservoir as the air conditioner works. After the water has been channeled to the appropriate place, it is then further filtered and pumped through a filtration system and pumped into a faucet that is located on either side of the cabin. Similarly, another faucet can be established on the outside of the vehicle so that the car can be used for quick and easy drinking applications when it is stopped.
Through the use of the current system, the car is supplied approximately 24 ounces of water every hour directly from the atmosphere, and it can be further applied to purify otherwise dirty water from a number of other sources. The idea will even be able to purify rainwater and make it drinkable. Though the concept currently features a micron filtration unit, Martin has said that he is looking into incorporating a distiller that is powered by the vehicle's other powertrain sources, in addition to more contemporary water cleaning systems, such as ultraviolet light.
Ford's representatives have spoken about the development and believe that it can be invaluable for dry and underdeveloped regions in the world. Areas where many people do not have access to clean water can look forward to a source of filtration and cleanliness. Though there are no plans to put the system into immediate production currently, there has been interest in the technology itself, and many fans of Ford are excited to see how the automaker may incorporate such systems in future vehicles.