August 6, 2007

Polycarbonate solar water purifier

Roughly 20% of the world’s population faces a daily challenge in finding an adequate supply of drinking water. In most developing countries of the world, women and children spend a major part of the day procuring drinking water for the family.

Designed by Stephan Augustin, the Watercone is intended to provide potable water to these populations who desperately need it. The Watercone is a conical, self-supporting and stackable unit made from transparent, thermo-formable polycarbonate (the same material used for water dispensers), outfitted with a screw cap spout at the tip, as well as an inward circular collecting trough at the base. Technically speaking, the Watercone is a solar still.

Based on an average evaporation level of 8.8 liters per square meter, the Watercone yields between 1.0 to 1.5 liters of condensed water per day, and can be referred to as a one-step water condensation process with a 40% effectiveness rating. When salty or brackish water is inserted in the Watercone, it evaporates by way of solar irradiation and the condensation appears in the form of droplets on the inner wall of the cone. These droplets trickle down the inner wall into a circular trough at the inner base of the cone. By unscrewing the cap at the tip of the cone and turning the cone upside down, one can empty the potable water gathered in the trough directly into a drinking device.

Augustin’s Watercone therefore provides a simple and inexpensive solution to an age-old problem: turning salt water into potable water.

Contact: Wisser Verpackungen GmbH, New York, New York, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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