Solar Water Distiller




Introduction: Solar Water Distiller

The brief of the project was to design a product which would use only solar energy for distillation of water. Due to the initial expense and cost of maintenance these products have not reached places where there is scarcity of drinking water. Also due to the complexity of the devices uneducated and illiterate people are unable to use it properly and hence avoid it. The product development and implementation required more than just a working product. The product should involve the user before and during its construction. The user should be able to built or assemble it all by himself. He should be able to modify and repair it without much technical assistance.The device was to be designed to cater to the needs of people living in underdeveloped regions. The project duration was for five months during which a number of experiments were to be conducted time to time, by the end of which a working product was to be presented. The product should provided sufficient amount of water comparable to its cost of construction and efficiency.

Step 1: Please Download the Pdf Document

The pdf document contains the entire research, experimentation, final design, parts and material, assembly process and instructions for instillation and use.



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    8 Discussions

    For those who are interested in solar water distillation, be advised--the PDF in question is not simply a set of instructions for the parabolic trough distiller pictured here. It also contains several pages on solar distillation design theory and discussion of several alternate distillation designs before getting to the heart of the trough design and construction (page 123.) This treatise is clearly illustrated throughout with both photos and professional-grade drawings, and provides a full description of the evolution of this design. The end product is a remarkably well devised system for solar water distillation at low cost using only materials that can be readily sourced and fairly inexpensively purchased.

    In short, it's amazing work, and we are lucky to have it posted here. KunalS1, please let us know if there has been any further development of this project, to include funding for further development. I could certainly see a crowd-funding initiative to support this.

    2 replies

    Hello echodog,
    First let me thank you for explaining my project so precisely and beautifully. I myself couldn't have done it better. This project was my final Diploma project and was sponsored by Icarus design (Banglore, India) under the mentorship of late Mr Sunil Sudhakaran. Due lack of funding no further development could take place and it was killing me everyday not to be able to work on it and develop it further. Finally I decided to share it on instructables, so that more people can work on this and make it better and whoever in need could get hold of it, educate himself and others around and be self sufficient in a way. I never though about crowd funding to be very honest but it seems like an amazing thought, at least to support the development and refinement of the project. I would love to talk about how we as a community could take this forward.
    also thank you for your comment.. it means a lot to me :)

    Unfortunately I am not an expert in crowdfunding, particularly for India, but certainly there are quite a few people supporting worthy projects like this on kickstarter. You can have a look at it:

    There is only one other solar distillation project on there currently, and your project is already much more detailed, illustrated, and better organized. It seems to me all you'd need to do is make a shorter presentation (I'd suggest editing out the earlier design process material and going straight to the current design and where you see opportunities for improvement) and come up with a projected budget for the next steps.

    hello there, this was an initial prototype and needs to be improved as I coundnt take the project forward due to lack of funding, I would advice a few changes and points of concerns myself after the first testing was done in 2010. I would recommend food grade plastic. food grade steel parts would be even better. the vacuum tube is a very delicate device and should be covered when not in use. increasing the number of vessels or surface area increases the condensation. the product can be modified, adapted and changed according to availability of parts and amount of use but the basic concept remains the same. I hope this helps.. thanks

    are you in India?

    I just made a comment about a distiller-cooker I made with my daughter using styrofoam fish boxes inside cardboard boxes and aluminum foil.

    Cost was about $2 to make first and $0.57 to make the second. Used plexiglass for that, so you could toss that one around.

    I'd be interested in talking to you if you ae in India. On my way to Bali for a couple of months, but it live in Tamil Nadu near Tenkasi

    Like to work with folks who like to push the bubble

    1 reply


    I'm an industrial designer based out of Delhi and Mumbai, India. I would be happy to talk to you about the project. you can get my details from professional website . Thanks