The Fontus water bottle sounded too good to be true. According to the company, the self filling bottle would create drinkable water “out of light and air,” something which could be of great use to cyclists, but could potentially prove to be life-saving for underdeveloped countries with no immediate access to water. The high level of interest the project received has earned it over $340,000 on crowdfunding platform IndieGogo, with it costing backers a minimum of $160 to get their hands on the bicycle However, more people are now speaking out against the technology, claiming that the Fontus water bottle is actually a scam and that the claims of its creators are completely false.
YouTube channel EEVblog outlined the issues with the Fontus water bottle using the basic principle of thermodynamics, by focusing upon the amount of energy that would be required to achieve Latent Heat Vaporization of the water contained within the bottle, multiplying the amount of energy required (1kg) by the specific heat of vaporization for the water, which is 2264.76 kJ, resulting in a sum of 2246 kJ. Comparing this with equation with Fontus’ own data, which claims that in the best possible scenario the bottle can produce 1 liter of water in 150 minutes at 90% humidity at a temperate of 40°C, 905 kJ would need to be put into the system for an hour in order to produce the liter of water, which equals 250Wh.
EEVblog then highlights the size of a 250Wh solar panel, which according to the channel’s calculations the Fontus would need in order to function and, needless to say, it’s much larger than the small solar mat provided with the Fontus water bottle.
For comparison, here’s the solar panel EEVblog claims the Fontus water bottle would need:
And here’s the small solar mat that’s included with the Fontus, attached to the backpack of the user:
But again, the size of the solar panel in the first image is what EEVblog claims would be required in the best possible scenario for the Fontus, with a lower level of humidity or temperate requiring an even larger panel than the one on display.
These calculations would mean that the Fontus water bottle would be a scam at worst, or fatally overambitious and conceptually impossible at best. Considering the huge amount of crowdfunded money it is set to receive after the project closed last week, it is hoped that IndieGogo will be looking into this evidence as soon as possible.
Check out EEVblog’s video below: