Posting in Design
MIT researchers use a solar photovoltaic panel to power pumps that move seawater through a permeable membrane that removes salt to produce clean drinking water.
MIT researchers have created a portable desalination system. The water machine could be used in countries that lack the infrastructure needed to deliver water on a regular basis or be used in disaster zones like Haiti.
The researchers at MIT's Field and Space Robotics Laboratory (FSRL) designed the solar-powered desalination system shown in the video above.
It uses a solar photovoltaic panel to power the pumps that force the seawater through a permeable membrane. The high pressure pushes the water through the membrane, leaving the salt and other minerals behind.
Sensors help the machine conserve energy on cloudy days and produce more clean water on sunny days.
The process is called reverse osmosis.
Reverse osmosis has been used for decades. But the projects usually are large-scale installments that hog a lot of energy. The MIT system is portable and operates off-the-grid, which is a major plus if you want to deploy the machines in remote areas.
The team estimates that one C-130 cargo airplane could carry two dozen desalination units. That would be enough to give 10,000 people clean water.
LifeGivingForce's portable machine uses solar panels too. And the machines are actually being used in Haiti now - illustrating the need for water filtration systems in disaster zones.
Recently, I went with the SmartPlanet video crew to see LGF's water machine in action. We watched it suck up lake water and turned it into clean drinking water.
Called the LGF Rapid Response 10000UF, the device operates like a miniature water treatment plant. It purifies up to 10,000 liters of water a day, which is enough clean water for about 5,000 people.
Once unloaded from a black box — two hoses, a few filters, et cetera — the device can be assembled in 10 minutes. It’s powered by solar panel and uses a three-stage filtration process to clean water from ponds, wells, streams and lakes.
It’s a stunning visual: murky green-blue water goes in, clear water comes out. To prove it, LGF staffers sipped water straight from the clean end of the hose.
In the future, water machines could provide a way for people to access clean water, even when the country lacks the infrastructure to deliver it. It's not hard to imagine how deploying the machines to people living off-the-grid in small villages, farms or other remote locations could be useful.
Dec 2, 2010
Our University of Alabama patented personal solar desalination product (U.S. Made) uses no electricity, can be taken anywhere and extracts pure water from any contaminated water source. It removes radiation, fluoride, salt, pesticides, bacteria, dirt and other contaminants from any water source. Be prepared for disasters, save hundreds on bottled water and utility bills. Panels can also be arrayed together to create an 'oasis in a desert' or other non water locations globally. http://freshwater.ecogreenenergies.com
I don't see how you can even compare the two and bring up patent law. The Australian unit is an evaporator and the MIT unit is a reverse osmosis filter. Actually neither of these technologies is really patentable since they both basically use technology that has been available off the shelf for years. All they have done is integrate it in a mobile manner.
Hi, i believe this is a really good product! i'd like to know how could i contact the seller? thanks
a similar device has been on the market and available in Australia for over 3 years MIT seems very very similar (patent law!?!?) http://www.sunsurewater.com/
Cost? Availability? Service Life? Answer these and you will discover your real market. If there is a significnant demand, production volume will minimze price. Probably the filters are the weak link and a source of dirty but potable water. Often, what is lacking is a clean plastic closeable jug to store rainwater or filtered water. Several thousand of those will also be needed at each pump. Better get two C-130s.
I read that a solar powered sterling engine running a generator is more efficient than solar cells. If you are running a solar powered generator you can power anything.