Comparative analysis of two polyethylene foil materials for dew harvesting in a semi-arid climate

Journal ar
Journal of Hydrology
  • Volumen: 410
  • Número: 1-2
  • Fecha: 15 November 2011
  • Páginas: 84-91
  • ISSN: 00221694
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.09.012
  • Document Type: Article
This paper analyses the dew collection performance of two polyethylene (PE) foils in a semi-arid region (Southern Spain). The dew collecting devices consisted of two commercial passive radiative dew condensers (RDCs) of 1m2 tilted to 30°. They were fitted with two different high-emissivity PE foils: a white hydrophilic foil (WSF) recommended as standard for dew recovery comparisons by the International Organization for Dew Utilization (OPUR), and a low-cost black PE foil (BF) widely used for mulching in horticulture. Dew yield, foil surface temperature and meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, downward long wave radiation and wind speed) were recorded hourly during a 1-year period from May-2009 to May-2010. The spectral emissivity of the foils was determined in laboratory in the range 2.5-25¿m and the radiance-weighed values were calculated over different intervals, indicating that BF emitted more than WSF, especially in the range 2.5-7¿m. Dew yield was well correlated with the air relative humidity and foil net radiation in both foils and was hardly detected when the relative humidity was lower than 75% or the wind speed higher than 1.5ms-1. WSF was more sensitive to dew formation due to its hydrophilic properties, registering more dewy nights (175) than BF (163) while the annual cumulative dew yield for BF was higher (20.76mm) than for WSF (17.36mm) due to the higher emissivity and emitted radiance of BF. These results suggested that increasing the surface emissivity over the whole IR spectrum could be more effective for improving RDC yield performances than increasing the surface hydrophilic properties. On a practical point of view, BF could be considered as a suitable material for large scale RDCs, as in our study it presented several advantages over the reference material, such as higher dew collection performance, longer lifespan and much lower cost. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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