Interesting. It will only be useful in deserts or semi-arid areas that experience fog or mist, such as the Pacific coast of South America from Ecuador to northern Chile and the Namibian desert of Africa (does it get foggy in Baja? I know it does around San Diego.). There have been many schemes to harvest water from fog and mist over the years, but I have never read of one working in the real world. Maybe this one will be practical?
High humidity would not be sufficient. The article states plainly that water needs to be in the form of mist. One big problem is that the temperature gradient required is normally not found in the environments where, or season when, the fog, or more specifically, mist, is found (a desert does not need to be hot, just dry). You could collect the water, but you would have to apply heat at, or approaching, 34C to get the fabric to release the water. They also do not specify how long it takes for the material to reach saturation. I am a little doubtful about the number of cycles the polymer is capable of. The article is a bit vague about that.
If it works in the real world, even with a few limitations, it could be used to great advantage. I hope they are successful.
Yes, that could work. I had also considered using them in those inexpensive plastic greenhouses. I am familiar with the climate along the southern coast of Ecuador. The dry season is overcast with a heavy mist day and night nearer the coast. You can get quite soaked just walking around for a half hour or so. Things grow quite well there, with enough water, so there is likely enough solarenergy to heat up a plastic tube, greenhouse or some other form of inexpensive solar collector. If they can tweak the temperature range down, I think it could be an excellent resource for reestablishing cloud forest habitat.
Interesting approach. They don't get into specifics. I gathered from the two videos at the UTEC site that they use dehumidifiers that can produce up to 97 liters of pure water per day. They do not say how much it costs to produce the water. I imagine it is not cheap.
You may be interested in this blog post, Harvesting Fog: The No-Regrets Option. Make sure you read through the comments. There is some very good information in them (you might find this one quite interesting), and some not so good. Warning - it is a Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptic site, so don't wander off the post, if you have strong feelings on Climate Change.