An innovative desalination plant design with the potential to help water-starved communities in coastal environments is among the latest designs from concept creator Phil Pauley.
The solar-powered desalination unit turns seawater to drinkable freshwater at source, rather than miles away from the scene of a shortage.
Nick-named ‘Solar Cucumber’, the mini bus unit uses multiple-effect humidification to evaporate and condense seawater while removing its salt content.
Phil runs design and innovation consultancy PAULEY and specialises in design-based solutions and concepts that enhance people’s quality of life and sustainable living.
The Solar Cucumber resembles a giant worktop with a curved glass solar panel top. Inside the floating units, salt water is collected and evaporated in an air-tight vacuum circulated by solar power.
The unit could be deployed floating at sea or on land to provide water in disaster or environmental relief situations.
Increasing water shortages around the world are driving the need for innovative solutions to desalination.
Multiple-effect humidification replicates the normal environmental water cycle. In the case of the Solar Cucumber, it uses solar power and reverse osmosis to separate water from other substances, including salt.
The system uses advanced non-stick-style materials to reduce maintenance and create an effectively self-cleaning system that produces fresh water and sea salt at source while reducing the need for costly and impractical transportation of water.
In permanent off-shore installations, the Solar Cucumber’s anchor system would form part of an artificial reef encouraging the growth of local marine habitats and biodiversity.
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