Innovation That Matters


Water purifier uses solar power to remove salt

Agriculture & Energy

A new design for a solar-powered sea water purifier could help save lives at sea.

At Springwise, we have highlighted a number of Dyson Award winners. These have included a low-cost way to detect skin cancer and children’s clothing that grows with the child. Now, Mexican designer Marco Antonio Barba Sánchez has won a James Dyson Award for his low-cost solar seawater purifier. He came up with the idea after noticing that local fishermen did not have proper equipment for coping with a shipwreck. Sánchez combined solar distillation and filtration to produce a more efficient purifier than the ones that are readily available.

Coined the Bermuda, the new purifier uses an inflatable tank with two layers. A semi-transparent outer layer and an inner layer of plastic-coated aluminium. When inflated, air becomes trapped between the two layers. The air pressure between the inner and outer layers create higher pressure on the inside through controlling it with a valve. This speeds up the evaporation of water for distillation. The Bermuda also contains a filter for further purification.

Sánchez estimates that his unit can produce between 2.1 and 4.2 litres of drinking water a day. The variation depends on the amount of sunlight available. The resulting water contains too much sodium for long-term use, but is suitable for emergencies. Mexico’s government is reportedly interested in developing the product further and Sánchez has received funding from the Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food.



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