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Water is essential for survival. We are made up of mostly water and the fact is we would sooner dehydrate than starve. If disaster strikes one of the resources you may find yourself lacking is safe drinking water.
If you find yourself equally lacking electricity you may need to think of some ingenious ways to purify your water.
One way is with a solar water purifier. You can easily find ready-made options in-store but should you find yourself in need of one and no ability to buy it you can build your own.
Some simple items strategically assembled can fulfill your purification needs by harnessing the natural power of the sun.
Why Would You Want To Use A Solar Water Purifier?
There are a number of water-purifying solutions available, some of them you may have on hand if you are a prepper. There are water additives that you can use like water chlorination and iodine addition.
You can have some water purification tablets on hand this could be useful too but these items can run out and you may want a longer-term solution.
Boiling water is one of the most common methods of water purification that can be used but it can be an effort to use some of your precious heat sources for this purpose. This is where harnessing solar power can make the most sense.
Using a solar water purifier will enable you to purify your water in a more eco-friendly way. Solar water purifiers are fairly simple to make and just require some basic items and are very easy to assemble.
This can make them an ideal option for survivalists. It is a long term solution that you can use to keep your family hydrated with very minimal effort.
How Does A Solar Water Purifier Work?
Understanding the workings of the purifier is important before you attempt to use or build your own so you know the significance of each part. Solar water purifiers can be bought at various sizes ranging from smaller camping-style options to massive options for entire communities.
The basic principle of most solar water purifiers is that they use the power of the sun in order to purify your water. Most of the solar water purifier designs have contaminated water in a collection area like a covered bucket.
The sun is then encouraged to heat up the water by using things like the color black to increase absorption to speed up the process. The water is then vaporized due to the increasing temperatures and the contaminants are left behind. The freshwater vapor then condenses and collects in a channel to the clean the water area.
What Items Will You Need To Make Your Solar Water Purifier?
You will only need a few items in order to build your own solar water purifier and you can easily find these at a hardware store.
If you are extra prepared you may have a number of these types of items around your garage.
These are the items you will need:
- Wood or sheet metal this is needed to build an enclosure (microwave size)
- Reflective material eg: aluminum foil
- Black paint (like the kind used for barbecue pits)
- Insulation (the white foam kind)
- Sheet of glass
- Glue (weather resistant type)
- A catch trough
- Clean water container
- A black tray (heat-absorbent)
These are all the items that you will need to assemble together for your solar water purifier. You will also need some basic tools to put the water purifier together.
If you do not have a full set of tools at home these are some of the tools that you may need to add to your list to make assembly easier:
- Plastic or metal trowel
- Paint tray and brush to manage your black paint easily
- Caulk gun for glue application
Some items for putting together your microwave safe enclosure (which is not essential:
- Power drill
- Screws and/or nails
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
How To Put Together Your Solar Water Purifier?
The assembly of the solar water purifier is fairly simple and if you only have some basic DIY skills then you will manage to build this purifier.
It is important to consider where you want your solar water purifier to be permanently set up before you start building to avoid having to move it later.
Consider how much sun the area gets and make sure you optimize your assembly of the design to catch as much sun as possible to make the unit fully effective.
Also consider your water source and how far this is from your planned area for permanent placement of your water purifier. This goes back to optimization and avoiding additional transport of water.
- Start with your wood or metal microwave-sized enclosure. (Use a basic design for the enclosure or alternatively look for further instructions if you need exact steps to put this together). Use your black barbeque paint to paint the outside of your enclosure black. This will increase the absorption capacity of the enclosure.
- The reflective surface like aluminum foil needs to be glued onto the sides and back of the box enclosure. The white foam insulation needs to adhere to the bottom of your box.
- Contaminated water should be added to the tray and placed inside the enclosure. The glass sheet should then be placed on top of this water-filled tray.
- The catch trough should be placed at the bottom of the glass and angled down towards your collection container to collect the purified water.
- Make sure your water purifier is angled towards the sun to start using it effectively.
You may find your purified water tastes slightly strange initially. After the first few uses your water purifier will get broken in and the water will start to taste more like what you are used to.
Your Purified Water
The average solar water purifier of this size can generate up to 3 gallons of purified water a day, if the sun cooperates. In order to get your purified water it is important to supply water to be purified.
There are a number of water sources that you can look at adding for purification from natural water collection areas like creeks and rivers to collecting rainwater.
Make sure that you are able to find a suitable sustainable water source that you are able to keep using to supply your water purifier.
Water purification is essential to make sure you have safe drinking water which is even more important if disaster strikes and purified water is no longer easily available.
Maximizing the use of natural resources like the sun and naturally occurring water to get purified water is ideal from a sustainability point of view.
Building your own solar water purifier is simple to do and can keep you supplied with drinking water as long as the sun is shining.