Water distillation is an act that can save life. The consequences of drinking contaminated are dire and account for a significant number of fatalities every year. It is however easy and entertaining to make a solar powered water distiller. The distiller uses the principles of heating evaporation and precipitation.
The components of solar distillers are:
- A bowl or basin that can hold 4 to 5 liters of water.
- A glass or a cup to act as a collecting vessel.
- A string long enough to go round the brim of the basin
- Several lengths of plastic wrapper that is enough to cover the top of the basin or bowl.
- A piece of weight e.g. a stone.
- Aluminum foil.
Choose to do the distillation on a sunny day for good result by adopting the following method –
- Put a lining of aluminum foil on the inner side of the basin. If the basin is made of reflective material such as aluminum or any other such shinny material then you may ignore the foil.
- Obtain 2 liters of water mixed with soil and pour it into the basin.
- Place the glass into the middle of the bowl containing contaminated water. The glass should not float else it tips over and collects contaminated water in the process of distillation.
- Take the plastic wrapper and cover the basin.
- Use the string or the bladder material to tie the plastic wrapper tightly over the basin. This can be done by tying the wrapper against and around the brim of the basin.
- Place the weight on the plastic wrapper right on top of the collecting glass. The weight should be enough to create a depression dipping towards the collecting cup. This aids into directing the water drops into the collecting cup.
- Place your distiller outside on a sunny day preferably on a raised flat ground or a table. You don’t want your distiller tipping over and spilling the content or mixing up the clean and impure water.
- The water in the basin will be heated and evaporate. The escaping vapor will hit the plastic wrapper, condenses and fall as droplets in the collecting cup.
- After several hours carefully unwrap the basin and pick your collecting glass. It will be containing clean water for drinking. Wipe the bottom and side of the glass where it was into contact with contaminated water and drink. Cool it or otherwise have a glass of warm water.
- Care should be taken when choosing the contaminated water. If the impurity is toxic then an extra process will be needed to purify the water.