Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Solar Distiller: Beginners Info to Free and Safe Drinking Water Using Sunlight


Solar water distillation has been used since the mid sixteenth century and has served the need of some people for centuries.. Until now, clean water supply is still a critical issue especially in third world countries. It was one of the solutions to some health problems in these places. After several years, many variations were introduced into the technology. Solar distiller does not use any solar cell to distill, so that it is more appropriately known as solar water still.

How does it work?

The solar water distiller basically uses sunlight to heat water, which then evaporates and condenses on the wide glass pane, and then collects into a large glass bottle.  In the process, solar water purification happens, and the water that comes out the spout is relatively clean.  Solar water purification isn't complete purification however, because the water in the distiller never reaches boiling point.  In technical terms, the solar water distiller isn't really a solar water distillation equipment.  It's more of an evaporation device.

How to build or acquire

The solar still's dimensions are generally around 5 feet long and 2 feet wide, and can be made of wood and glass, with jugs and silicone tubing – generally simple household items that have very little cost. But this is just a general dimension. There are many different sizes, even different solar water distiller designs. Some are more complex than others, but they all use the same fuel - sunlight. Plans to build solar water distillers are available all over the internet, and generally, one can find plans that only use common household items for the construction. One can also buy a complete solar distillation equipment.

Advantages

The lifespan of a solar water distiller is typically 10 years. It is estimated that water produced by the solar distillation process costs around 7 cents per gallon. Electric distillers produce clean drinking water at about 30 cents per gallon. Just 24 16 oz bottles of water cost an average of 5 dollars. As you can see, solar distilled water is very cost effective when compared to the costs of bottled water.  

Disadvantages

Solar distiller has a few drawbacks that cause grave concerns. First, it never actually brings the water it traps to a boil, and thus the water still might retain some of its bacteria and other harmful organisms. Also, the solar water distiller has a difficult time retaining a tight seal. Because of the large moist area it creates, the distiller is often the target of insects and bacteria looking to exploit any weakness or opening in the seal.

 It would be highly commendable for highly industrialized nations to help undertake solar distillation utilization and other practical solar applications in third world countries around the globe. A disturbing statistic lists a lack of fresh and clean water as one of the top causes of death worldwide, and literally millions of people every year die from lack of pure, clean water.This alone is major reason to help less fortunate countries.


Please visit our Informative Solar Article page for more practical tips, simplified application guide and established solar benefits.



Author’s Box

Jacinto Demonteverde, Jr., the owner, is a strong advocate of solar power adoption. He writes practical articles to keep established and prospective solar users well informed. Visit him at: http://www.justsolarhome.blogspot.com You are welcome to republish or reprint this article free of charge provided the content remains unchanged including the Author’s Box. No permission is needed


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