Makers of the Desolenator tout it to be an easy to use, low cost, solar powered and fairly portable water desalination system. It can even make sea water drinkable.
“Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink,” laments the Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. Things have certainly changed since the times of those fabled doomed sailors, with simple desalinators now a common feature in survival kits for boats.
96 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans and increasingly this massive resource is being tapped and turned from undrinkable to potable water.
However, desalination to the point of being truly useful in a day-to-day domestic situation is generally an energy intensive process requiring sophisticated, cumbersome and expensive equipment.
The Desolenator may help change all that. The system reportedly can produce 15 litres of water a day and lasts for up to 20 years. It uses no consumables, no filters and only requires basic maintenance. Its makers claim it can desalinate water at a lower cost per litre than any system at this scale currently available.
The device consists of a 100 watt solar panel, 100 watt immersion heater, storage tank, capillary tubes, glass chamber and battery. The casing incorporates all terrain wheels for ease of movement and an LCD panel .
The Desolenator team recently won 2nd place at the recent Climate KiC Clean Launch Pad competition and has forged academic partnerships with Liverpool University (UK), Imperial College (UK) and College of Engineering Trivandrum (India).
After 18 months of development and 5 prototype iterations, the Desolenator is nearly ready for prime time. Its inventors are now seeking to raise $150,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to accelerate product development process and help evolve the current prototype to a finished product ready for mass production. Funders contributing USD $450 will receive one of the first Desolenators to roll out of production.
With half the world’s population forecast to live in water stressed areas by 2030 according to the UN, devices such as the Desolenator will not just be interesting and useful gadgets, but life-savers.
In another recent desalination related development closer to home, Sundrop Farms near Port Augusta in South Australia has announced an expansion and a deal to supply Coles with tomatoes for the next decade. Sundrop Farms uses solar power to desalinate water on-site for irrigation. The boost in productivity for the farm is expected to create 100 jobs during the construction phase and 200 more ongoing positions.