Solar Water Distiller
Knowing what a water distiller is supposed to accomplish can help you make an informed decision when deciding whether or not a solar water distiller will serve the purpose you desire.
In an emergency situation, safe drinking water may be a necessity for you and your family or companions. It’s important to know your options in this circumstance and the systems that can provide nontoxic water for your consumption.
Temperatures above 190 degrees Fahrenheit are necessary to break down some harmful chemicals in water. Distilled water is made by heating water to the boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit to remove impurities. Then condensing the pure steam into clean containers gives you distilled water that is safe for drinking.
Electric distillers, normally constructed of stainless steel, kill bacteria using high temperatures. Stainless steel is not conducive to the growth of bacteria and is the most desirable material for a distiller to be made of.
Solar energy - radiant light and heat from the sun - has been harnessed by humans in various ways since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. In our age of green technology, the use of solar energy is touted as a conscientious way to make efficient use of the sun’s natural resources.
The idea of a solar water distiller is a good one, but the advisability of using one for the purpose of producing pure drinking water should be investigated.
Although a solar water distiller does use the sun’s energy, it doesn’t use solar cells, or anything similar, to actually distill water. For this reason, it’s more appropriately called a still. About all that the solar water distiller accomplishes is to trap and heat water which causes faster evaporation and condensation on the pane of glass, making it more of an evaporation device than an authentic distiller.
Basically, the apparatus utilizes sunlight to heat water, which then evaporates and condenses on the wide glass pane of the still. Then the water drops down into a glass bottle. In the process, some water cleaning may take place and the water that comes out the spout can be relatively unpolluted. Solar water purification isn't complete purification, however, because the water in the distiller is not heated to high enough temperatures.
Construction details for a solar water distiller, or still, can be found by searching the internet. Prices vary depending on the materials recommended and the desired size. Typical dimensions of the device are five feet long by two feet wide. It can be constructed of simple, inexpensive household items such as wood, glass, and silicone tubing. There are no moving parts. Although design and size can vary, all solar distillers are dependent on the same essential factor – the sun. The only maintenance required is to clean the glass periodically.
Knowing how to construct a solar still may be a useful survival skill and could provide a viable means of drinkable water in the event of an emergency. However, under typical conditions makeshift solar stills rarely produce enough water for long-term survival. It is only a means of providing a minimum amount of water to survive until another reliable water source becomes available.