Vehicle: Car: Windshield: Vision
Self-filling windshield washer reservoir   (+13)  [vote for, against]
Uses water from airco

Cars in warm climes like South Texas where we need to keep our air conditioner running all but two days of the year generate a huge amount of water that's been exhaled by the occupants. Usually it drips on the ground and you can frequently see puddles under a car once parked. (When I first arrived in Texas I thought all the cars here had oil leaks ;-) )

It should be relatively easy to redirect this water to top up the windshield washer reservoir. Despite having been produced by human breath it's pretty clean.
-- gtoal, Jan 10 2006

Almost the same name ... Auto_20Fill_20Windscreen_20Wash
although a different solution [jonthegeologist, Jan 11 2006]

Exhaust filtering tech perfected http://science.slas.../05/025259&from=rss
The Army has perfected the tech needed for this device, except that they waste the water by giving it to thirsty soldiers to drink :-) [gtoal, Nov 02 2006]

Good idea. I always thought the AC puddles were from ice melting off of the AC condenser.
-- bristolz, Jan 10 2006

Ice on the condenser? Not a recent thought, I assume.
-- half, Jan 11 2006

Yes. Why?
-- bristolz, Jan 11 2006

Because of the past tense and because condensation that drips out under the car (not necessarily due to icing) comes from the evaporator.

The condenser gives off heat so any water on there would evaporate. But on the evaporator, water condenses.
-- half, Jan 11 2006

In some cases the resulting washer fluid would smack of gin and tonic.
-- reensure, Jan 11 2006

If the air isn't too humid you could arrange to occasionally re-evaporate the water on the windscreen and roof for the additional cooling effect. In practice this would just mean that when the reservoir was nearly full the spray and wipers would cycle once automatically.
-- Loris, Jan 11 2006

Good idea [gtoal]. Only problem I can see is that this solution would be confined to areas with year-round fine weather. Other places will need anti freezing agents added to the water.
-- DocBrown, Jan 11 2006

Could you also make it collect the water from the bottom of the windscreen. This would allow it to re-use the water and also collect rain water
-- miasere, Jan 11 2006

Now that's a good idea [miasere]. Collecting rainwater to fill the washer reservoir. I always forget to fill it. You'd just have to top up the antifreeze now and then.
-- squeak, Jan 11 2006

[hazel]'s been there, done that. See [jonthegeologist]'s link.
-- half, Jan 11 2006

[half]'s right. [hazel] wrote an idea with a very similar aim and name a few years back although I accept that the mechanism for retreiving water is different.

That said, running aircon units are costly to the pocket and to the environment and as such, [hazel]'s idea is far more elegant and cheaper.

Of course, if you happen to live somewhere where it *never* rains and is *always* hot, then the aircon dripoff is an acceptable solution.
-- jonthegeologist, Jan 11 2006

Oh. Well, then, the evaporator.

It was past tense because I was preparing myself to be shown otherwise.
-- bristolz, Jan 12 2006

You might occasionally get ice on the condenser where you live.

([jon], I was referring to [miasere]'s and [squeak]'s comments)
-- half, Jan 12 2006

As it turns out, ice on the condenser is a serious problem in some conditions. I worked in a video studio in the mid '90s (decade, not temperature) with a marginally-capable air conditioning system, It would occasionally begin to freeze up when it was hot and humid.

Although it sounds like no problem, it would, in fact, require shutting down the AC for several hours, which would mean shutting off all the studio lights, which would mean not getting any work done that da, which would mean $1000s of expense for lost work.

So bristolz is not so far off base. I'm not sure if a car AC system would have this problem: ours was designed to handle all the heat generated by dozens and dozens of multi-kilowatt lighting instruments.

Not to mention hot-headed producers.
-- land, Apr 04 2006

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