In the aftermath of hurricanes in the Caribbean, residents in countries such as the US Virgin Islands only have access to seawater, which is unsafe to consume. A method of desalinating this seawater using locally sourced and upcycled materials is needed, with low or zero costs involved.
We are looking into methods of desalinating water through distillation, particularly focusing on factors that optimise the evaporation process whilst minimising energy use. We are looking into the effects that reducing the pressure within the system has on the rate of evaporation, and how this could be implemented. We are starting to carry out experiments in order to better understand these processes. At this stage, the proposed solution would be a device that uses solar panels to heat seawater in a depressurised environment and collect the water vapour in a separate container, without the need for significant mechanical input from users.
Extra technical details
- Upcycled solar panels can be used in the solution.
- A minimum desalination rate of 2L/hour has been specified.