Fog Catchers and How to Make Your Own

What is a fog water Catcher?

A fog catcher is a meter by meter of stretched out mesh over copper piping. It allows fog to condensate into droplets of water and flow down toward a trough into a barrel or bucket where it can then be measured.

Photo Credit: Dan Fernandez

 

How to Build a Fog Catcher

There are many different Ways you can build your own fog catcher at home. I found it fun to experiment with different meshes and plastics from Ace Hardware and Home Depot. They vary in effectiveness based on their size. This is then stretched out over piping. The piping that you should choose should be non-corrosive, or corrode little over time. Your stretched out mesh over the piping should have a tough underneath, for this the fog water can flow into, and then a bucket placed at the end for collection.

mesh mesh01

 

To build the specific fog catcher seen at Marina Tree and Garden Club and in additional photos on this site please follow the preceding instructions:

The list of needed materials is as follows:

1”x 10’ external diameter galvanized conduit. $5.86 per ten foot piece
Each collector requires 2 pieces of pipe for outer frame support.
Home Depot SKU# 091111020032 $10.86 total

¾”x 10’ internal diameter galvanized conduit. $7.87 per ten foot piece
These are the connection pieces between the pipes listed above. One pipe is enough for 3 collectors.

½” x 10’ Copper tubing (m series) $9.15 per ten foot piece
This creates the frame that the fog collecting mesh is housed on. 2 pieces of pipe are needed per collector. $18.30 total
Home Depot SKU# 685768236504

½” Copper Tubing 90 Degree Elbows $0.60
Corners to connect the copper pipe to assemble the collector frame. 4 Elbows for
each frame. $2.40 total
Home Depot SHU# 039923312723

5/16” x 6” Galvanized Threaded Rod $5.27 per six foot piece
The rod is used to mount the mesh frame to the support posts and to mount the water collection tray to the support frame. 1-2 pieces of 6 foot pipe per collector.
Home Depot SKU# 030699175406 $10.54 total

5/16” Nuts and washers $0.08-0.12 per piece
Each collector needs 16 nuts and washers to hold frame and support post together
$1.92 total
3’x4’ Galvanized sheet metal $16.87 per sheet
Sheet metal is used to fold the water collection trays that sit under Mesh frame. 1 piece of sheet metal will make 2 trays.

14 gauge x 500’ Steel cable $97.56 per 500 foot roll
Each collector requires approx. 120 ft of cable as support bracing to the ground. Depending of the site placement this could be used for 4-5 collectors. $24.44 per collector

3/8” Rebar stock $0.98 per 2 foot piece
Rebar is used as the ground mount for support cable to attach to. 4 pieces of 2 foot bent bars are need for each site. $3.92 total
Home Depot SKU# 363973

1/16”& 1//8” Wire Rope Clip $0.79 per lock
Each collector requires 16 locks to fasten 4 cables to support poles.
Ace Hardware SKU# 5026430 & 52071…Home Depot only carries these in variety packs of all different sizes. West Marine or a similar chandlery should carry them. $12.64 total

2.5 square meters of Coresa mesh at $5.00 per square meter: $12.50
Glues for pipes and tray vary between JB weld and Epoxy cements. $10.00

Total: $132.50 per fog collector plus 8% tax: $142.00 total

Fog Catcher Blueprint sketch

Full Blueprint for Fog Catcher

 

 

If you wish to obtaining more specific information on the construction of the fog catcher please email myself, or Dan Fernandez (dfernadez@csumb.edu), a professor at California State University Monterey Bay who builds them locally.

 

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