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Study of dew water collection in humid tropical islands

Abstract : An assessment of the potential for dew water to serve as a potable water source during a rainless season in a humid tropical climate was carried out in the Pacific islands of French Polynesia. The climate of these islands, in terms of diurnal and seasonal variations, wind and energy balance, is representative of the climate of the tropical Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Measurements were obtained at two characteristic sites of this region; a mountainous island (Punaauia, Tahiti Island) and an atoll (Tikehau, Tuamotu Archipelago). Dew was measured daily on a 30° tilted, 1 m2 plane collector equipped with a thermally insulated radiative foil. In addition, an electronic balance placed at 1 m above the ground with a horizontal 0.16 m2 condensing plate made of PolyTetraFluoroEthylene (Teflon) was used in Tahiti. Dew volume data, taken during the dry season from 16/5/2005 to 14/10/2005, were correlated with air temperature and relative humidity, wind speed, cloud cover and visible plus infrared radiometer measurements. The data were also fitted to a model. Dew formation in such a tropical climate is characterized by high absolute humidity, weak nocturnal temperature drop and strong Trade winds. These winds prevent dew from forming unless protected e.g. by natural vegetal windbreaks. In protected areas, dew can then form with winds as large as 7 m/s. Such strong winds also hamper at night the formation near the ground of a calm and cold air layer with high relative humidity. As the cooling power is lower than in the Mediterranean islands because of the high absolute humidity of the atmosphere, both effects combine to generate modest dew yields. However, dew events are frequent and provide accumulated amounts of water attractive for dew water harvesting. Slight modifications of existing rain collection devices on roofs can enhance dew formation and collection. Dew harvesting thus appears as an attractive possibility to provide the local population with a complementary - but on occasion, essential - water resource
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Contributor : Marc Muselli <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 5:58:37 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 26, 2020 - 11:44:03 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-00326152, version 1


Owen Clus, Pascal Ortega, Marc Muselli, Iryna Milimouk, Daniel Beysens. Study of dew water collection in humid tropical islands. Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2008, 361 (1-2), pp.159-171. ⟨hal-00326152⟩



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