A design company called NOS has developed a solution to two major problems facing developing countries: scarcity of drinking water and electricity. The concept is called the PhotoFlow, a combination solar photovoltaic device and rainwater harvester.
NOS says, "Most of the developing countries are located near the equator, receiving more sunlight and rainfall than most other countries on the planet. Despite this abundance, a large number of people living in these countries suffer from a lack of electricity and potable drinking water.
Building upon the designs of some existing rooftop water containers, we have created a simple device to collect both of these precious natural resources to meet the need for both electricity and drinking water."
The PhotoFlow is made up of eight identical triangular photovoltaic panels that are mounted on a 400-liter recycled polyethylene water tank. The panels form an octagon with a slope of 3 degrees that allows water to funnel into the central filter and be collected into the tank. To keep the water potable once it's collected, the inner layer of the tank is covered with a coating that controls levels of bacteria and fungi.
The solar panels, which are capable of generating 340 kWh of electricity, are covered with an antireflective adhesive which helps prevent loss of light through reflection as well as a nano layer of dirt-repelling film to keep the panels clean and working at maximum output.
NOS is seeking funding to produce the PhotoFlow and make it available to developing countries.