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Fog Water Collection Effectiveness: Mesh Intercomparisons

Category: Further development of activities and strategies towards collection fog for freshwater production

Volume: 18 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 270-283
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.01.0040

Export Citation:  RIS | BibTeX

Daniel M. Fernandez 1, Alicia Torregrosa2, Peter S. Weiss-Penzias3, Bong June Zhang4, Deckard Sorensen4, Robert E. Cohen5, Gareth H. McKinley5, Justin Kleingartner5, Andrew Oliphant6, Matthew Bowman1

  • 1 School of Natural Sciences, CSU Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA 93955, USA
  • 2 Western Geographic Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
  • 3 University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
  • 4 NBD Nano Technologies, Inc., Boston, MA 02135, USA
  • 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
  • 6 San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA


Three mesh and one rotated version’s collection compared at 15-minute time scale.
Comparative performance approach suggested for mesh within standard fog collectors.
Fog Ha-Tin and coated metal mesh outperformed Raschel mesh at higher winds.
Delays and inconsistent fog water collection observed between different mesh.
Factors besides wind speed noted in relative fog capture efficiencies.


To explore fog water harvesting potential in California, we conducted long-term measurements involving three types of mesh using standard fog collectors (SFC). Volumetric fog water measurements from SFCs and wind data were collected and recorded in 15-minute intervals over three summertime fog seasons (2014–2016) at four California sites. SFCs were deployed with: standard 1.00 m2 double-layer 35% shade coefficient Raschel; stainless steel mesh coated with the MIT-14 hydrophobic formulation; and FogHa-Tin, a German manufactured, 3-dimensional spacer fabric deployed in two orientations. Analysis of 3419 volumetric samples from all sites showed strong relationships between mesh efficiency and wind speed. Raschel mesh collected 160% more fog water than FogHa-Tin at wind speeds less than 1 m s–1 and 45% less for wind speeds greater than 5 m s–1. MIT-14 coated stainless-steel mesh collected more fog water than Raschel mesh at all wind speeds. At low wind speeds of < 1 m s–1 the coated stainless steel mesh collected 3% more and at wind speeds of 4–5 m s–1, it collected 41% more. FogHa-Tin collected 5% more fog water when the warp of the weave was oriented vertically, per manufacturer specification, than when the warp of the weave was oriented horizontally. Time series measurements of three distinct mesh across similar wind regimes revealed inconsistent lags in fog water collection and inconsistent performance. Since such differences occurred under similar wind-speed regimes, we conclude that other factors play important roles in mesh performance, including in-situ fog event and aerosol dynamics that affect droplet-size spectra and droplet-to-mesh surface interactions.


Fog mesh Fog water collection efficiency Raschel mesh Hydrophobic coating

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