In many regions of our planet it is already impossible to grow another tree. This is how Verheggen came up with the idea of designing a tree that independently generates its own water and cooling. A symbiosis between nature and technology. Due to the reflection of the sun, it is warmest on the ground. Trees can suffer a lot from this, but also think of evaporation. In the Future Tree concept a solution has been found by letting the natural trees grow in the air. With the concept of the growing waterfall developed by art project SunGlacier, water is extracted from the hot and dry air outside. The residual product: cold, is also optimally used in this concept, but now also for cooling. The cold exhaust air is normally used to make the technology work more efficiently, but it can also be used during periods for another important purpose of a tree: cooling.
The system is connected to solar energy – without large batteries. If there are clouds, less coolness and water is needed. When the sun shines brightly, that need is greater, to which the tree will respond immediately with its technology. The Future Tree is a fully developed project: all technology, calculations and 3D drawings are ready and can be immediately converted into a working sculpture in the future.
The background of this project
The world is changing rapidly. Drought and temperature rise are ravaging our planet more and more. Artist/Inventor Ap Verheggen introduced the concept of “embrace your enemy”: when circumstances change, try to use them to your advantage. Warm air contains much more water than cold air and in places where it is warm, the sun often shines. That is how he came up with the idea of extracting water from the air, using solar energy.
The water in the air (water vapour) can be condensed and thus recovered. Compare it to the droplets of water that form on a cold can of soda on a beautiful summer day. After extensive testing in Mali, Verheggen finds out that existing dehumidification technology no longer works at high temperatures and very dry air. His can stayed dry….
That’s why he started working himself. For the project to succeed, a new technology would have to be invented. Verheggen, together with his friend Peter van Geloven, after many years of research, have invented a new and patented condensation technology that works efficiently even in the most extreme climates on our planet. The new condensation principle is based on cold falling water through which air is blown. The water vapor is the air condenses against the cold water droplets that increase in volume as a result: The Growing Waterfall. Thus, the total volume of water increases during the fall.
In order to reach so many people with his inventions, Verheggen has always built “works of art” to show that there are solutions for our most pressing problems. You can reach more people with art than with a complicated technical story. One of the first models, the DC02, has won a place in Museum One Planet in The Hague. Other models, including a complete off-grid field of grain, have been temporarily displayed to the public in an exhibition. In recent years, many projects have been reviewed, with a provisional highlight last year: The Dubai World Expo. Verheggen made it rain every day in the Dutch pavilion. With his latest device, packed in a small container on the roof, he made an average of 1200 liters of clean and ice-cold water every day. This was extracted from the dry and extremely hot outside air. The technology was powered by solar panels mounted on the roof.
His projects have been known all over the world for many years and have been extensively covered in all possible media: up to 2 times an article in The New York Times, filmed by Bloomberg, CNN and many other TV channels, but in the Netherlands he is not unknown either.