Self-filling water bottle could help cyclists - and people living in places without fresh water

Austrian designer's invention in line for a James Dyson Award...

A designer from Austria is hoping to win a James Dyson Award for his invention of a water bottle that refills itself.

While the invention could interest cyclists riding across continents or around the world, ensuring them a fresh supply of hydration, its primary use could come in regions where fresh water is hard to come by.

Kristof Retezár’s Fontus system attaches to the frame of a bicycle, and while it is moving, enables air to be funnelled over what is described as a “condensing structure,” reports the website City Lab.

The air is then turned into moisture through a “condensing structure,” which drips into a detachable PET bottle. It works best in humid, warm conditions, picked out in a darker shade of red in the map below.

Retezár says: “Fontus can be applied in two different areas. Firstly, it may be interpreted as a sporty bicycle accessory.

“Useful on long bike tours, the constant search for freshwater sources such as rivers and gas stations can cease to be an issue since the bottle automatically fills itself up.

“Secondly, it might be a clever way of acquiring freshwater in regions of the world where groundwater is scarce but humidity is high.

“Experiments suggest that the bottle could harvest around 0.5 L water in one hour's time in regions with high temperature and humidity values.”

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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