Desolenator: making salt water safe to drink using the power of sunshine

It seems like every half hour new Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns bring us yet another wearable, gadget or project that might become awesome and life-changing or fall by the wayside and never actually deliver. (We’re looking at you, Solar Roadways and Ring.)

But how many of the brands running these campaigns have actually developed products that could change the world? Well, it’s admittedly a pretty bold claim, but the team behind Desolenator truly believe that their solar-powered desalination machine could be the answer to the global water crisis.

It’s easy to forget just how many millions of people all over the globe don’t have access to clean drinking water, an issue that causes conflict, divides communities and leaves millions of others dehydrated and ill. By 2030, the UN predicts that more than half of the world’s population will be living in a ‘water stressed’ area, which is a scary and worrying stat. People living in these areas right now either have to travel really far for clean drinking water or wait for a visit from a water truck. Some can’t do either of those for various reasons and instead drink water that’s contaminated, which obviously leads to a whole host of even more serious issues.

The Desolenator team want to address these issues with their device, which can turn contaminated or salt water into totally safe drinking water for a whole family. The device itself is fitted with high performance solar panels, a boiler and a pump. Solar radiation is then used to boil more than 15 litres of water per day to around 90 degrees and any steam is fed back into a heat exchange mechanism to start work on the next batch of water.

There are other ways to carry out this simple ‘sunshine into water’ process already, but most are either too pricey or consume tonnes of energy. Instead, the Desolenator is completely solar-powered (vital in some parts of the world without reliable energy infrastructure), accessible and easy-to-use in a hurry. It’s also easier to fix and run for long periods of time than any other kind of water-cleaning tech.

Desolenator’s Indiegogo campaign launched officially this week and has already raised over $30,000 of its $150,000 funding goal with more than 40 days still to go, which bodes well for the team and people in ‘water stressed’ areas. At the moment they’ve got a patent, a working prototype and a global team keen to start getting Desolenators out into the wild, so even a small donation could really go a long way. Donate $30 and you even get a rubber duck.

We’ll be donating – how about you?

ShinyShiny’s sister company, Sutro Digital, has been working alongside Desolenator to launch the ‘water from sunshine’ Indiegogo campaign. They didn’t ask us to write this – we just think it’s a great idea.

Becca Caddy