Water purification simplified

Fresh water for all.

Efficient solar still designs have become publicly available, but still require technical skills to implement. Let's simplify solar stills.

Use Case

Allow people to recreate a highly efficient solar still using locally available parts. Allows people in water restricted areas to generate substantial amounts of fresh water from dirty water or sea water.

Potential

Politicians proved embarrassingly ineffectual during the water crisis in 2018. Their plan amounted to using fear tactics to incentivise water saving. Water usage reduction and widespread investment in rain water tanks postponed the taps running dry for one more year. Cape Town plans to tap the aquifers, which feed Table Mountain area's unique floral kingdom, and which will likely lead to the extinction of many species. But untreated rain water is plentiful, and sea water is practically infinite. So efficient solar stills, especially easily made using common parts, provide a decent solution to future water crises, which people can implement on their own, without having to rely on their municipalities.

Business Case

We are not particularly interested in making money off the concept, as it's based on a publicly available research paper. The parts are not very accessible to the public, however, so if we manage to make it into a 'kit', perhaps with any parts that are technically difficult to do at home, pre-manufactured, that could be sold as a unit, so that the device is ready to work off the shelf. Our primary goal is to make the device accessible to poor groups, but the production quality can be increased greatly, by using more expensive parts, such as UV-transmissive and UV-resistant acrylic, or polycarbonate, rather than recycled plastic bags. So a more durable solar still could definitely be sold as a kit, were there business interest in the item.

Objectives:

  1. Implement the 88% efficient solar still described in a recent University of Buffalo journal.
  2. Change components and techniques so that the process is reproducible using easily available local items.
  3. Create video showing the process, for people to recreate the experiment at home.

Team GrowOpz

Cape Town, South Africa

Our Team

Creating carbon-black polystyrene floaters / Published February 6, 2018 by Daniel Brownell

Creating carbon-black polystyrene floaters

Antonia and Daniel dyeing four different cheap microfibre cloths, with carbon black.

Next step, plastic housing & distillate collector design...

Academic Paper / Published February 6, 2018 by Daniel Brownell

Academic Paper

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gch2.201600003/full

The academic paper we are implementing

Our Mission

Water 'Day Zero' was estimated for April, here in Cape Town. Reduced usage has postponed day zero, until next Summer. Our plan is to implement the 88% efficient solar still described in an academic research paper "Extremely Cost-Effective and Efficient Solar Vapor Generation under Nonconcentrated Illumination Using Thermally Isolated Black Paper". We want to simplify and implement the design using off-the-shelf products, so that if taps turn off, people can purify sea or rain water.

Our Background

We want to contribute to solving the drought, by making the breakthrough academic paper accessible to the average member of the public. We want to make a Youtube video to walk through the process, so that members of the public can create their own solar stills at home, using locally available materials. The GrowOpz team consists of friends in diverse fields (software, astrophysics, accounting, social work, and manufacturing).

Creating carbon-black polystyrene floaters / Published February 6, 2018 by Daniel Brownell

Creating carbon-black polystyrene floaters

Antonia and Daniel dyeing four different cheap microfibre cloths, with carbon black.

Next step, plastic housing & distillate collector design...

Academic Paper / Published February 6, 2018 by Daniel Brownell

Academic Paper

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gch2.201600003/full

The academic paper we are implementing

Our Team

Our Mission

Water 'Day Zero' was estimated for April, here in Cape Town. Reduced usage has postponed day zero, until next Summer. Our plan is to implement the 88% efficient ...Read More

Our Background

We want to contribute to solving the drought, by making the breakthrough academic paper accessible to the average member of the public. We want to make a Youtube ...Read More

Our Badges

  • Power Team
    Your team has at least three members
  • Design Lab Experts
    Attended at least one of the weekly TFF Design Lab “office hours” sessions.
  • We Famous
    Your project has been covered by your university or other media outlet
  • Get #Social
    Created team Facebook or Twitter page and attached to team page
  • Fan Club
    You have 100 likes or followers on your team Facebook or Twitter
  • Interior Architect
    Posted three pictures of your team workspace
  • Idea Parkers
    Shared a picture of your teams unique “idea parking”
  • Global Foodies
    Posted three facts about global food issues learned in the Explore mode
  • Insight + Insight + Insight
    Shared three new insights your team formulated in the Define mode
  • On Time, On Target
    Shared your Design Statement created during the Define mode
  • Post-it Fiends
    Shared pics of the chaos of the post-it filled Ideate work mode
  • Brain Food
    In the Ideate intro video, Richard shares an important tip while eating an apple. Share a team-apple-eating pic!
  • Expert Input
    Shared three pieces of expert feedback on your concept
  • GIF Masters
    Shared a GIF of the prototype building frenzy
  • Live Testing
    Shared a video of a user testing your concept
  • Way To Go
    Shared a picture of your plan for iterating your project
  • Etch-A-Sketch
    Shared your logo sketching session on your team blog
  • WE DID IT!!
    Submitted Final Pitch, including videos and concept details
  • Introduction
    Completed the Introduction section of the Design Lab
  • Explore
    Completed the Explore section of the Design Lab
  • Define
    Completed the Define section of the Design Lab
  • Ideate
    Completed the Ideate section of the Design Lab
  • Conceptualize
    Completed the Conceptualize section of the Design Lab
  • Prototype
    Completed the Prototype section of the Design Lab
  • Test
    Completed the Test section of the Design Lab
  • Iterate
    Completed the Iterate section of the Design Lab
  • Pitch
    Completed the Pitch section of the Design Lab
The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.