Water flowing out of the system during a test
Water flowing out of the system during a test.

The Human Right to Water and Sanitation is recognized world-wide since 2010. Especially in rural areas of developing countries, drinking water is often contaminated with dangerous germs. An estimated number of 1.5 million people die each year due to water-borne diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to treat the water before drinking.

There are a lot of ways to treat water. The selection of a suitable method depends on a number of boundary conditions, such as the available resources, the amount of water to be treated and the user group. One of the most widespread solutions is to simply boil the water. Boiling water does not influence the waters taste or smell and most of the germs are safely killed. Because of this, approximately half of the world’s population uses this method to decontaminate their water. But there are a lot downsides of this treatment: High costs for energy, environmental problems (e.g. deforestation) and health risks (e.g. smoke emission).

Because of these reasons we decided to develop a solar thermal water disinfection system, that boils water through the use of solar energy. The aim is to use simple and widespread tools and building materials for the construction to enable the user group to build the system on their own.