Squeezing Water From The Sun: Groundbreaking New Distiller Makes Potable Water Using Sunlight–And Seawater
Bad news is an up-and-coming commodity these days–just ask cable news outlets.
And while there is truth to the assessment that the 24-hour news cycle has created in itself a monster that constantly need to be fed bad news–overhyped, oversold and over-exaggerated though some of it may be–there really is so much out there to legitimately be alarmed about that it is easy to start thinking it’s ALL bad news these days.
That’s why it is so nice when a story comes along like the one about Italian designer Gabriele Diamanti, creator of the Eliodomestico, an amazing water distiller/desalinator that harnesses the power of the sun to make clean, potable water from the sea.
The device–the bulk of which is a squat, round pot–has two sections, a large, round lower body that shields a shallow bowl receptacle, and a narrower plate atop it with a water-tight screw-on lid covering a second chamber, the top of which is machined with screw threads like that of a pressure-based espresso-maker or coffee-pot.
Here are the designer’s words on its operation:
“It works like an upside-down coffee-maker: during the day, the sun’s temperature raises up the steam pressure into the black, watertight boiler,” Diamanti’s website reads. “The steam is forced down through the expansion nozzle, thus condensing against the lid.”
Below the boiler runs a tube that ejects the boiled steam that has condensed into salt-free water into the pot below.
The result at the end of the day is a five-liter bowl of desalinated, potable water, in a ready-to-carry clay pan shaped to facilitate transport on top of the head, as is a common, ancient carrying method in developing parts of the world, especially for women and girls, who are often tasked with gathering the family’s water.
And Diamanti has made the design of the Eliodomestico open source, available to “anyone who needs it,” as the website reads. He says it is easily constructed from cheap, locally available materials, and that it can be manufactured from scratch for under $50.
Especially in a time when companies like Nestlé threaten to commodify all fresh water the world over and sell it back to us at 1000 percent profit, this device could be a game-changer for not only some of the world’s poorest people–but also those whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by water scarcity and water contamination.
Watch and pass along the video below for a two-minute ray of sunshine in your life, a little bit of hope in a sometimes seemingly hopeless world.