If you were listening to the BBC World Service last Thursday evening, you might have caught Desolenator’s inventor and CEO, William Janssen, talking through the process of desalination on which the device runs.
But if you didn’t hear it, you might be wondering more about the specifics. It’s an incredible invention with so much potential – but how does it actually work?
Key points from the BBC World Service interview
☼ The Desolenator is the size of a large flat-screen TV. It uses just the power of the sun to convert dirty, or sea water, into potable water, and can produce about 15 litres of water per day.
☼ Desolenator’s solar panel directly converts sunlight into electric energy, and has an incredibly high output due to additional insulation – a solar panel in Dubai in summer, for instance, can get hot enough to fry an egg on it. Therefore to maximise heat, the top of the Desolenator panel is fitted with double glazing, and insulated with foam.
☼ Input water then flows over a solar collector so that it reaches boiling temperature, and the water vapour that’s produced as a result is captured and fed back into the solar collector as condensed, distilled water.
☼ A small “brine line” filters out any salt to avoid build-up and keep the Desolenator running smoothly.