Salt Water to Drinking Water with the Power of the Sun


How do you create fresh water from salt water?

Italian design engineering student Gabriele Diamanti has invented Eliodomestico, a solar still that requires NO electricity. This eco-distiller running on solar power is a very simple way to produce healthy, bacteria-free water and will provide safe drinking-water for people in developing countries.

The Eliodomestico can produce over a gallon of fresh drinking water in 8 hours by just using the sun. It requires no filtration or electricity and very little maintenance. It can be manufactured by local craftsman and requires very little assembly.

"My goal was to design something friendly and recognizable for the users," Diamanti explains. "The process developed quite naturally to determine the current shape; every detail is there for a reason, so the form, as well as production techniques, represent a compromise between technical and traditional."

In the morning, one fills up the top water tank, which is actually a black boiler, with water from a local source, such as sea water. About 8 hours later, they can retrieve the bottom terracotta saucer that contains the clean, re-condensed drinking water from beneath the device. The bottom clay basin was designed to be easily carried on the head, which is a common method of water transport in locations where such a device can serve the local population well.

Solar distillers are not a new technology. But unfortunately the ones that are now being used in the developing countries are either too difficult to use, or too expensive, or they are built with inappropriate materials and technologies. In addition, they only produce 3 liters in a whole day. By the year 2025, 2/3 of the world population will lack sufficient fresh water. Desalination seems to be the only realistic hope for a new source for fresh water.

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