A Better Fog Catcher
In many parts of the world, mist or cloud rolls in from the sea, and dew forms in the morning, but there is seldom if ever any rain, for example in the Atacama desert in Chile.
A Canadian charity called FogQuest seems to be one of the main organisations active in this field, and they have provided fog nets to a number of projects around the world. The nets catch the water, and it gradually forms drops and runs down into a reservoir, and it can then be used for drinking or for irrigation.
A set of videos can be found here on YouTube
However, a recent article in New Scientist, p19, 26th June 2014 discusses some high tech improvements that are possible.
The existing nets are made from natural fibres, and generally collect 5 litres of water per sq. meter every night. However, if too much water gets trapped inside the fibres, the mesh won't drain well, however, if the holes are too large, wind will blow the droplets through and they will be lost. Mesh clogging and droplet blow-through reduce the efficiency of the typical mesh used
A team from MIT has looked at redesigning this, claiming that it takes the technology to another level by using a coated stainless steel mesh that is stretched out, collecting up to 12 litres/sq. m. a day
"Our coated mesh was five times as efficient at collecting fog as the mesh currently used, They have optimised the mesh hole size and hydrophobic coating to maximise the efficiency of their mesh.
It may be more economic to invest the extra money to get more water from the high tech product, but, perhaps it is better to get local people to produce fabric nets.
The high tech nets can also use remote monitoring, and perhaps be steerable to move them into the wind to get more mist on them