Of all the water on earth, only an incredibly small percentage is available for us to use and drink… the remainder is largely highly salty water, or at best brackish water with unhealthy levels of salt. For much of the western world, where water is plentifully available and piped right to your location this is hardly an issue for concern; but in countries where limited water availability is compounded by heavy pollution and miles of walking each day to collect it, the situation becomes a lot more dire. Enter Italian designer Gabriele Diamanti and his fascinating Eliodomestico.
The deceivingly simple device transforms salty water to clean drinkable water in one day of sun exposure – just by filling the top-mounted black boiler with salty water and tightening the cap. Throughout the day the temperature and pressure grows within the boiler, forcing steam downward through an internal pipe and into a lower collection lid, where it condenses as fresh water and drips into an earthen basen for transport and use. The setup is simple; cheap and easy to reproduce using widely available materials; and works much more efficiently than costly, conventional solar stills.
Diamanti was inspired to create the project by his own extensive travel and by his friends’ work with NGOs. He saw a world stricken by water scarcity as a graduate student at Milan Polytechnic in 2005, and later decided to pursue the interest as an open-source project – meaning the Eliodomestico is free to copy, modify and distribute. It’s just the thing for challenging locations where manufacturing a product often requires creative use of materials and adaptation to local resources.
For more on this beautiful and thirst quenching project, see the video below and Diamanti’s project page on his personal website.
A graphic detailing the amount of fresh water available to the world – learn more on Wikipedia.