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Paul

Solar Water Distillers

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Paul
Do any LinC members use solar water distillers in the Philippines?

 

If so, that would be a great topic for a new thread in the "homes and building" section.

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tripsigg

I don't know if any do, but they are relatively easy to construct and can produce a small quantity of pure water each day from just about any source of water, including salt water.

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Jim in Cebu

I don't know if any do, but they are relatively easy to construct and can produce a small quantity of pure water each day from just about any source of water, including salt water.

 

Yes, there are many plans for solar water distillers (and just about everything else) on the web.

 

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. However, in practice, there may be a lot of difference between theory and practice."

 

People who actually do the stuff come up with insights into the strengths and weaknesses of any given design or implementation -- such as, "I tried this and it worked great for me." or "My attempt to do this was a disaster.".

 

I appreciate and learn from other people's experiences -- and thought it would be interesting and helpful to learn if any members have tried solar water distilling -- and, if so, what they have learned.

--

 

As a side note, I've been told (-- but have not verified it --) that at least in the Argao area, if one builds on a beach lot, they are required to install desalinization equipment to supply their domestic water needs.

 

Likewise, many rural areas don't have domestic water at all -- people are dependent upon wells whose water quality may be poor.

--

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sperry

What are u trying to do? Purify water (eg desalination et al) or just disinfect?

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sam12six

I've actually just done a lot of research into water purification and the traditional idea of a solar water still (ie a piece of plastic over a hole) is for emergency survival the same way building a snow cave for shelter is for survival. They're both too reliant on a certain weather condition and ineffective next to the alternatives to make much sense as a permanent solution to the problem.

 

Buy a desalinator (or a good filter if you're not talking salt water). Clean drinking water is just too damned important to the human body to be cheap about it.

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Headshot

The problem with solar water distillation in the tropics is that it provides the perfect breeding ground for algae and bacteria. While you may think of solar distillation as a purifying process, in reality, the water resulting from the process will be anything but pure here. The solar process just doesn't create enough heat to eliminate the critters. Commercial water purification plants here (that use distillation) use high temperature in the distillation process and then bottle the water immediately to keep out airborne bacteria and algae. Even then, bottled water has a relatively short shelf life here.

Edited by Headshot

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Jim in Cebu

What are u trying to do? Purify water (eg desalination et al) or just disinfect?

 

My application would be to purify (distill) water to remove mineral content as well as biological material (algae and bacteria) -- however, members are welcome to post about disinfecting water as well.

 

As Headshot posted earlier, a major problem with solar distillation in the tropics is that the distiller usually becomes a breeding ground for algae and bacteria. This is basically why I posted the topic -- to see if anyone has had successful hands-on experience running a solar distiller here.

 

At this point, it looks like distilling water would get rid of the mineral content, and then the distilled water would need to be disinfected. Disinfecting could be done with chlorine or iodine (and perhaps other chemicals) or by a UV-light unit. -- However, chemicals are not preferable and UV-light units are not cheap to purchase, use and maintain. Are there better options?

--

 

Changing topics slightly, I would think that metal, plastic, or concrete water tanks on water towers would also be a breeding ground for algae and bacteria.

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Headshot

Changing topics slightly, I would think that metal, plastic, or concrete water tanks on water towers would also be a breeding ground for algae and bacteria.

I will confirm that. I just had a water tower built behind my house with a 1500 liter plastic tank (protected from the elements). I made the mistake of putting all of my filters upstream of my plastic tank. Now, I am getting some kind of orange scummy growth in the tank (not sure whether it is algae or bacteria). So...I'm going to have to change my system so that all but one of the filters are downstream of the tank. Any major material from my well (sediment) will be filtered out by the first filter (30 micron), and then everything else will be filtered out after the tank (20 micron, 5 micron carbon filter, one micron). I really didn't want to use chlorine in my system, but now I'm going to have to add some to the tank just to temporarily shock the water system. Then, I will drain out all of the water and start over again. We had a smaller stainless steel tank before that we replaced, and I had the same problem in it. I hope that putting three of the filters downstream of the tank will eliminate the problem. If not, then we will have to try something different (adding either chlorination or ultraviolet light permanently to the system).

Edited by Headshot

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sperry

My application would be to purify (distill) water to remove mineral content as well as biological material (algae and bacteria) -- however, members are welcome to post about disinfecting water as well.

 

As Headshot posted earlier, a major problem with solar distillation in the tropics is that the distiller usually becomes a breeding ground for algae and bacteria. This is basically why I posted the topic -- to see if anyone has had successful hands-on experience running a solar distiller here.

 

At this point, it looks like distilling water would get rid of the mineral content, and then the distilled water would need to be disinfected. Disinfecting could be done with chlorine or iodine (and perhaps other chemicals) or by a UV-light unit. -- However, chemicals are not preferable and UV-light units are not cheap to purchase, use and maintain. Are there better options?

--

 

Changing topics slightly, I would think that metal, plastic, or concrete water tanks on water towers would also be a breeding ground for algae and bacteria.

 

Well good news is that UV LED are supposed to be coming soon. They will use so little electricity then can be run off solar panels.

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Jim in Cebu

@headshot: Thanks for confirming the algae/bacteria situation with the water tank. Please let me/us know whether relocating the filters provide a long term solution to the problem.

 

@sperry: Thanks for the heads-up on the UV LEDs. If/as you or other members see information about them, please post it on the web. UV units appear to be the cleanest and easiest way to disinfect water -- but have historically be expensive to maintain and operate.

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raytech

330459954678 This is an e-bay item number. The uv LED's have been around for a while. Just search UV Led on e-bay and you can keep yourself busy for quite a while.Hope this helps

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Jim in Cebu

330459954678 This is an e-bay item number. The uv LED's have been around for a while. Just search UV Led on e-bay and you can keep yourself busy for quite a while.Hope this helps

 

Thanks... I saw some UV LEDs on eBay and then googled "uv led water purifier" and found some interesting articles and DIY (do it yourself) projects people had been trying. The use of LEDs open up a lot of possibilities.

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