A very simple, rugged, and easy-to-use solar water purifier has already been developed by us to purify drinking water by boiling it through solar radiation. Its capital cost is very low and running cost is nil. The design uses a very inexpensive and easily available solar tube which is made of double glass wall with vacuum in-between and having an appropriate coating for absorbing solar radiation. The solar water purifier boils 2.8 liters of water in about 1 hour.
The innovation here is the extreme simplicity of its design. It leverages inexpensive high technological elements to provide safe drinking water. We are regularly using purified water to meet the entire requirements of drinking water in our homes successfully for the last three months.
It is proposed to run a pilot project in villages near Pune with 100 houses. Through regular feedback, the misfits of the product, as felt by the users, will be removed by the design modifications. Also, problems in adopting the product will be identified and recommendations will be made to have its widespread acceptability.
Gap it addresses
The product fills a big gap for many of the Indians, who do not have the means to afford safe water free of bacteria and viruses. The product has tremendous potential to improve primary health of the masses in India and many other developing countries of the world.
More than 300 million people in India and about 2 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. This product will help in eliminating many water-borne diseases and will be reducing the death of children.
Concept and material required
A working prototype has been developed by us:
It uses only three elements:
(1). A solar evacuated tube with a double glass wall with vacuum in-between and proper coating to absorb sunlight. These tubes are widely used in solar water heating systems. Its cost is as low as only about Rs. 400 and easily available even in small towns of India.
(2). A reflecting aluminum sheet with appropriate coating. This is also a high-tech product but easily available in India and it costs less than Rs. 600.
(3). A-frame of bamboos, very inexpensive and made of easily available bamboos sticks. The cost of raw bamboo sticks is less than Rs. 150 and fabrication of the frame is simple and quick.
- The product has a high potential to provide safe drinking water with absolutely no running cost. Once a user purchases the basic units, there is hardly any maintenance.
- It is also tested at -20 degrees centigrade in different countries and performs the same in presence of sunlight.
- Mitra is very efficient and robust. 2.8 liters need 1 hour to boil properly. Which means 18-21 liters of drinking water for free.
- There are hardly any moving parts in the design, which ensures minimum repair and maintenance. Moreover, there are no parts that require sealing or leakproof materials which wear out with time.
- Mitra need not be protected from rain, dust, and extreme weather. Just wipe it with a wet cloth and it will be as good as new, ready to be used.
- Minimum adjustment or alignment is required. If the user boils 2 lots of water, it requires only one alignment. This means the person need not stand in the Sun.
- Mitra is a friend always “ready to serve” for free. Villagers can boil water when it's free and obtain drinking water.
- The device causes no damage to the environment and its carbon footprint is negligible.
We believe Mitra solar cooker can penetrate the remotest of places due to its various benefits. The objective is to percolate this solar water purifier to all places which do not have access to drinking water. By contributing to the purpose, you are helping a large number of families financially as well as helping the environment. To full fill the above we plan to ascertain the practical usefulness of the setup.
100 units of water purifiers will be prepared to be sold at a highly subsidized rate of about Rs. 400 each to families in villages around Pune city. This is because we do not wish to give it for free to ensure seriousness. Based on the feedback taken, misfits will be removed by suitable modifications in the design of the purifier.
The feedback will be carried out in the following ways:
- Direct Interaction: We will directly interact with the users by talking to each user once in two weeks.
- By spending time with them and understanding the kinds of problems the user faces. This is often quite useful as often the user herself is not able to identify the problems.
Budget requirements ( Rs)
- Equipment: 100000. It includes radiation meters, tools.
- Manpower: 1100000 (2 people will be employed for 18 months with a salary of Rs 30K per month)
- Consumable: 300000 (Each unit will be close to Rs 3000. 100 units in consideration)
- Travel: 350000 (Taking material to villages in Truck, frequent travel to meet villagers)
- A place to store Equipment: 300000