why is it needed?
The real Why for Solar Water Purification
Sun and Water are undoubtedly the two enablers of Life on planet Earth. Sun is abundant, view my solar energy facts page. The oceans contain plenty of water, however water usable for living organisms derived from lakes, rivers,springs, rain and alike is scarce. With the accelerated growth in human population and with the climate changes, lack of irrigation water and of drinking water is becoming a top-of-the-list issue. In the old days, water in rivers, lakes, spring water as well as tap water was good and safe for drinking. Nowadays, you open your faucet and you are not sure if the water is drinkable. If one lives in an underdeveloped country, one's water in the nearest lake or river is almost certainly contaminated.
Water contamination factors
The following are the main drinking water contamination hazards:
- Bacteria; from sewage leakage or dead animal upstream
- Industrial pollutants
- Chemicals; traces of sulfur, silver, mercury and other poisonous industrial materials
- Debris brought downstream by the river
Countermeasure strategies to obtain reliable drinking water in developed countries
The following is what people are doing, some people combine 2 or more strategies:
Use water filters
Boil drinking water
Chlorinate the water (usually done by the water supplier)
Buy water in a sealed container; usually a 1 Gallon container
Oops, did I forget something?
Yes, I did. I wanted to tell you about a point-of-use solar water purification system that gets it power from sun radiation. One of the commercially available product is called Rainmaker, a name that articulates the essence of what this device is. A solar water distillation device imitates the way nature produces rain. Solar radiation heats and evaporates water inside the still. Water vapors rise, condense on the still's inner glass surface, and drips into a collection container. Impurities, contamination materials, salts, heavy metals are left on the bottom. Bacteria are killed due to the heat and the UV radiation (solar water disinfection). The water produced is of top drinking quality. The only required maintenance is cleaning, like you would do after frying to the frying pan. Don't worry about moving parts – there are simply no moving parts.
You can use the distiller in your garden or take it with you to camping sites, picnics and other outdoor activities. Size can range from devices producing 1 gallon a day to 4 gallons a day. (The winter daily production is half of the summer daily production). The cost is in the few hundred USD range.
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