Jul 22, 2019 | Updated: 09:15 AM EDT

Solar Energy Technology May Provide Clean Water Solutions

Jul 08, 2019 07:58 AM EDT

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Solar Stills
(Photo : Photo Mix Company)

Several tanklike devices the experts call the solar stills to help generate clean water by using the sun's heat to evaporate the dirty water to leave behind potable water that's safe for drinking. However, every solar still comes in a large package and they usually cost much, not to mention that they can only produce clean water enough to support the needs of a small family. Now, researchers are looking into improving the stills to hasten the process so that it can produce all the clean water needs of a small family.

Every person needs an average of four liters of clean drinking water a day. This is the estimated amount to allow a person to survive with just water and with no food intake. However, several smaller and more impoverished countries in the world have difficulty finding access to clean, potable water. Most of them could only wait for the natural way of getting clean water and in times of drought, the problem only becomes worse. 

If the technology developed proves affordable enough, it could open the doors to impoverished areas in the world who need access to clean drinking water. Today, the record of the United Nations show that nearly 1 out of 10 people all over the world do not have access to clean drinking water. Despite technologies to purify or desalinate seawater, it seems the cost of building these facilities is the only reason why clean water remains to be beyond the reach of poorer communities. 

The traditional design of the solar still is more like a black-bottomed vessel that's filled with water. Its top is covered with plastic or clear glass. The black bottom part of the stills is the part that collects the heat from the sum that helps heat the water so that it could evaporate. This is the beginning of the whole process and by the end, all the contaminants present in the water will be left behind. The water vapor then condenses in the clear covering on top and trickles down like rain inside the water collector. 

Researchers continue to work on the improvement of solar stills. The goal is to build a more efficient product that will hasten the process of evaporation to be able to produce as much clean drinking water in the shortest possible time. In all these, the researchers are also aiming to produce solar stills that have a low-tech alternative to what is present at the moment. Low-tech also means a cheaper product as long as it is able to produce the same clean water that the world needs. 

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