Collecting Water in the Sky

Skydrops is a helium inflated balloon designed to collect water by harnessing Mother Nature’s own energy. Spinning in the wind creates energy used to cool metallic sheets with peltier cells within the balloon. As the air passes through the cooled surface, water begins to condensate, and becomes a liquid before falling through a cable to a reservoir at the ground. Designed to fly uninterrupted for up to 2 months, the Skydrop will be able to create up to  50 liters every day.

Designer: Guilherme Rodrigues & Murilo Gomes


  • martha says:

    That sounds like yet another brilliant idea to mess with a system we don’t fully understand and then be amazed at the side effects that a seemingly innocent change can have.

  • nicolulu says:

    This is the most exciting concept I’ve read in weeks !
    It needs particle filter, though.

  • wild.roses says:

    Ever since I watched/suffered through LOST, I see things like this and instantly think they should be standard equipment on ships and airplanes, just in case.

  • Ray says:

    Helium isn’t really all that renewable and using it for such a purpose is kind of a waste. If you’re going to do this, it might be better to use hydrogen. You can use the energy you generate, plus solar to separate the hydrogen from the water you’re collecting to keep it up near indefinitely. The device is small enough that explosions will not be as severe as the hindenburg (plus no carrying of people, so no problem)

  • Fenny says:

    Thats a great concept. If this would work many poor countrys can be saved from dry….

  • Murilo Gomes says:

    The original size infographic can be found here:

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • stephen russell says:

    Must for Haiti, No Africa, India, Africa, So America, SW US, E Russia, So Russia.
    Need to boost liters to 100 per day esp for local villages & add comm array for long range communicaiton as well.

    Comm Relay
    GPS node
    Water source.

  • Anon says:

    Or you could dig a hole in the ground, put a bucket in the bottom and anchor a tarp over it with a rock in the middle. Condensation forms on the tarp twice a day and pours into the bucket. This doesn’t require special technology or helium.

  • Murilo Gomes says:

    That is true. This, along with several other water collection methods were deeply researched for this project.

    The main problem with the method you presented is that you need a fairly big hole (lets say, 2 meters diameter 30 cms deep) to create a glass of water along the day on favorable conditions. Of course this amount of water can be different according to the weather. And so is the amount of water created by Skydrops. With a heavy wind, in a super favorable weather condition, it can collect up to 200 liters of water. The downside is that if you use it in the middle of Sahara it will maybe create up to 5 liters!

    We actually developed a formula to calculate surface water condensation, in order to know how much water per square centimeter can be condensed considering surface temperature, environment temperature, wind speed, environment humidity and so on.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  • Oz says:

    Very innovative idea, it would be awesome for isolated cabins and vacation homes that people visit 3 or 4 weeks of the year, how high would they need to be, is there a danger of a low fly airplanes? Also may need some type of protection from birds using it as a roost.

  • Thank you all for the posts.

    The balloon have a kind of grid (very thin and almost invisible) on the two sides to prevent birds to get in and get hurt or stop the water generation for some reason, and also prevents the inner surface becomes very dirty over time (leafs, dust, etc).

    We considered all types of renewable energy to keep the balloon in the air, but helium was the only one that worked well. We think a lot in the use of the hydrogen but it’s extremely unstable and inflatable.

  • Murilo Gomes says:

    It actually flies on low altitudes, actually it is scaled to hold 50 meters of cable, an altitude high enough to gather a decent wind speed.

    And for the birds issue, as Guilherme implied, the balloon is equipped with tiny grids on the ends, avoiding animals and dirt.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • sukumar haobam says:

    … a new innovation to get water…lets hope it will substitute the future water scarcity…

  • Alessandro says:

    This link works better
    Why such expensive gas as He (Helium), why not cheaper gas like H (hydrogen)?

  • Alessandro says:

    A flashing light is also needed to avoid collision with airplanes and helicopters at poor visibility.

  • Murilo Gomes says:

    It indeed could work with H, depending on the situation that the balloon is to be deployed.

    It was first though to be used with He because of the much higher security it provides compared to H. The first scenario of use was though to be a chaotic and dangerous situation such as a city after an earthquake for example. In that scenario we couldn’t risk having a high unstable and inflammable gas like H being manipulated by the users.

    Of course if the use situation instead of that is, for example, a water collection system for a boat, then H would work just fine. Actually work better because of its higher ascension power.

    Now as for the collisions issues, the balloon would fly just up to 50 meters high, it is high unlikely to be in route of collision with some kind of aircraft in that altitude.
    Although, it is made in an eye-catching reflective orange color in order to improve its visibility and maybe help the user be noticed by rescuers or other refugees, 🙂

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • William W. says:

    Great concept. Actually, the best i’ve seen in months. Congratulations for both brazillian designers. This is the proof that designers can think globally e solve problems with simple ideas (but complex in its entirety).

  • Murilo Gomes says:

    Thanks a lot, 🙂

    Indeed, the idea of “simple” in this project is more related to user experience than to product development. You know, when you walk into the elevator and press a button then all of sudden you reach your destination, despite the complex mechanism the elevator had to activate to the task.

    Skydrops is more or less like this, all the user need to do is trigger the valve to inflate the balloon and thats it, it will be generating water in no time 🙂

  • Alessandro says:

    Well, emailed FAA about a static balloon at night, I post the response here. I guess you need to flashing lights at night, one white and one red, strength of the light is also regulated I guess?
    A collision with a balloon and a helicopter tailrotor at 150 feet can be fatal.

  • Murilo Gomes says:

    Thanks a lot for that much feedback and support, this e-mail response would indeed be helpful to us!

    Maybe this question wasn´t taken into account in the appropriated level, but it shall work as a project improvement!
    And depending on the light strength the issue will be easily addressed, considering the balloon will be already generating electricity up there.

    Thanks again!

  • Clayton Humpton says:

    I was researching the web for my college work, then I discovered this concept. Simply the best! Design is all about IDEAS and this is A idea!

    Congrats Guilherme and Murilo. Hope you get famous and put this hole thing working soon!

  • Anna says:

    Amazing project! I saw this in another website (replied from Yanko) and I started to think in a lot of opportunities for it. It’s a so simple system and demand so little technology and investment that’s possible to adapt it to other systems, products and so on.

    have you ever tough about adapt this on bicycles or cars?

  • betty says:

    how can i get one?

  • Yugi Chan says:

    This is the product that is goint to save our future world. Where are this designers now? They deserve to be recognized properly!

  • A H Cornish says:

    Where can we get one and what is the price

  • Juan Ormeno says:

    Hi, like other people, i like to know if there any mean to get one of this.


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