An airborne balloon-like device designed to absorb moisture from clouds and transport it to desert skies before releasing it as rain has been devised.
Resembling the imaginings of writers such as Jules Verne and HG Wells Cloud Capture is a proposal by South Korean architects Taehan Kim, Seoung Ji Lee and Yujin Ha for the eVolo Skyscraper Competition, an annual award recognising innovative ideas for tall buildings. It received an Honourable Mention at the event.
It is intended to combat the increasing problem droughts and floods by balancing out the distribution of moisture across the world.
“Since rain comes from clouds, to balance precipitation we need to redistribute the clouds,” said the architects in their project description. “So, if we balance the distribution of clouds, the precipitation can also be balanced and this balance would bring the earth’s overall stability.”
The idea is to seek out clouds, particularly over the oceans in equatorial regions with high humidity.
Once a cloud is detected, the structure’s mechanical ribs would open to form a large void containing a net for capturing the moisture particles on its fine mesh surface.
The vapour would transform into water inside the net and be funnelled down into a suspended tank, as the device would then float on the wind towards its destination – an area such as a desert or a city affected by dust or pollution.
When Cloud Capture reaches its target site, a series of sprinkler hoses hanging from its base would distribute the liquid as rainfall.