A portable solar tracker for the production of distilled water from seawater. We implemented two version: one completely passive and one automatized with Arduino for the tracking of the sun. A Fresnel lens concentrates the sunrays on an evaporative cell containing salt water. This is heated to boiling and by means of a tube the product vapor is harvested and then condensed into a suitable vessel. With a lens as large as an A4 sheet, you can produce up to 4 liters of water per day.
Almost one billion people worldwide are lacking access to fresh water, which is a huge social problem. By 2025 two-third of the world’s population will experience freshwater stress.
My colleagues and I, at the Politecnico di Torino, have designed a portable desalination prototype that exploits the free energy of the Sun. A Fresnel lens concentrates the sunrays on an evaporative cell containing salty water. This is heated up to the boiling point and by means of a tube, the product vapor is harvested and then condense into a suitable vessel. This makes it possible to distill inlet water, salty or not drinkable, and then to obtain drinking water.
We made two versions of the prototype: one completely passive and one automatized with Arduino for the tracking of the Sun.
Our desalinator has been thought for remote regions and developing Countries, so designed with recycled materials, with the aim to reduce installation cost and to ease maintenance. In the current version, our desalinator can deliver almost 4 liters of water per day. This means that it is possible to meet the primary freshwater needs of approximately 2 individuals. With larger and more powerful lenses, the device allows to produce even higher volumes of drinking water.
With this project, we hope to contribute effectively to saving human lives.