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Digital Sun Distiller

Redesign, Mexico

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the principle behind sun distilled water purification. Fill a basin with water, put it in the sun, cover it with a piece of transparent plastic, you're practically done. But if you want to make a serious effort in purifying water to meet the modern standards of water use, these basics are rather inadequate.

Artificial rain
In Mexico City, 22 million people daily use a lot of water. This gives rise to a major problem of scarcity. Confronted with this shortage of drinking water in Mexico's capital, the young engineer Jose Luis Rojas designed a more workable version of the water distiller: Water from the shower or the kitchen sink is poured into a shallow box covered with Plexiglas. When the box is heated by sunlight, the water will evaporate. This separates the water from solids or biological material. That way, the distiller creates artificial rain, allowing the fresh water to travel via a tube to containers inside the home, where the people of Mexico City can use it again to meet their daily needs.

Ingenious design
This high tech version uses chips that track the impurities in the water, measure the water pressure, regulate the heat from the sunlight and distribute the water intelligently around the house. This ingenious design has won the Freescale’s green design contest in the USA. Although the capacity of this system is limited, it will significantly reduce water consumption when it is used by many households.