Drinking water from sunshine

MIT team designs solar-powered portable desalination system to use in disaster zones and remote regions.

Systems that remove salt from saltwater, or desalination systems, have existed for decades, they are typically large-scale installations that require lots of energy to operate. As bottled water was given the highest priority in terms of airborne relief supplies in Haiti, what relief teams needed were small, portable, self-contained desalination systems that could turn seawater into drinking water without using exterior electrical power.

This video is a sequence of time-lapse photos of the system operating on a partly cloudy day in Boston. The top left shows the entire system, and the top right shows a tank that is filled with water that has been desalinated. The bottom image plots the solar radiation that is being received by the panel over the course of the day.
Video: Steven Dubowsky, Amy Bilton, Leah Kelley

A team from MIT’s Field and Space Robotics Laboratory (FSRL) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering has designed a solution: a solar-powered desalination system that could be rapidly deployed in crisis situations to produce drinking water. The portable system could also be used in remote areas where supplying energy and clean water can be logistically complex and expensive, such as in desert locations or farms and small villages in developing countries.

Source and more Info: Morgan Bettex, MIT News Office

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