So what exactly is the Desolenator?
Desolenator is a device which turns ‘bad’ water (ie. water contaminated with arsenic, metals or saline) into potable water, using only the power of the sun. It maximises the solar radiation that hits the surface area of the device to boil water to get a yield over 15 litres per day – that’s more than enough for a family of six. It has no consumables, no filters, needs no energy and only requires basic maintenance to last up to 20 years.
Who’s behind the invention?
Aren’t there other devices like this already?
It seems like an obvious solution, doesn’t it? But other existing options are not viable.
Over 97% of the world’s water is in our seas and oceans with only 1% of the worlds water supply available for drinking. Unlike food or energy water cannot be replaced or replenished – we have a finite amount of it on earth. With populations increasing exponentially and the effects of climate change growing, water is looking like THE critical resource issue facing humanity. What is clear is that if humanity is going to address the water crisis we must transform sea water into drinking water in a sustainable way.
Many countries have adopted large scale desalination technologies, enormous plants that require huge costs to set up and to run as well as vast amounts of energy powered by fossil fuels. Did you know that whilst 0.7% of the worlds water supply comes from large scale desalination, its at the cost of 0.5% of the worlds total energy supply?
There are smaller ‘reverse osmosis’ systems on the market, but these come at a high capital cost and require significant maintenance and use of consumables such as filters. They also use a LOT of energy.
Solar stills were invented over 200 years ago and can effectively desalinate water, however the yields are low and not sufficient to provide enough drinking water for a family over the long term. They also do not come cheaply. If you want to purchase a leading solar still today it can cost upwards of $300 – for an old technology with a low yield we think this is not viable.
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Main image: Matthias Ripp at Flickr Creative Commons