Image via SOLAQUA
A cool new design by Jason Lam, a student designer at University of New South Wales, shows a water purifier that uses the power of the sun to make water drinkable. It's intended for places with limited resources where water-borne diseases are prevalent, helping to save lives with the power of the sun.
From the designer:
Solaqua is a water disinfection unit to be used in rural sub-Saharan Africa. It utilises ultra-violet and infra-red rays from the sun to eliminate pathogens within contaminated water. Raw water is first passed through a sari cloth filter to improve efficiency of solar water disinfection (SODIS). A five tap funnel fills five specially designed bottles to obtain ten litres of water. By spreading and laying the bottles on the ground, the transparent bottle surface allows maximum exposure to UV rays. The black, back surface of each bottle absorbs heat, while reflective inner surfaces reflect UV rays within the water itself.
The design was a silver winner with the Australian Design Awards. It eliminates the need to use wood and other fuels for fires to boil water, and so saves needed resources.
The design uses plastics, which seems problematic for a device that will sit all day in some very hot sun. Lam states, though, that plastics were chosen to keep it lightweight so it can be carried to where water is available, and so that each part can be replaced and recycled as needed. That doesn't mean, though, that the parts will be long lasting, which would be a key element to a design going to rural areas.
Still, we want to give props to students working to innovate for the greener good.
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