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Solving the Water Crisis

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posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 07:20 PM
An Engineering perspective:

By ErtaiNaGia

I would like to take this time to solve the world's looming water crisis, by publishing an Idea that I have been working on for several hours.

The Idea is that of a low energy consumption method of purifying (distilling) water, and the low maintenance methodology and techniques employed in the device that can be used to deliver low cost fresh water to people all over the world.

I have endeavored to make the device as low tech as possible, in order to facilitate it's usage in all parts of the world (minimal technological knowledge is required, similar or identical to knowledge and techniques used in refrigeration.) so as to enable even the poorest and most underdeveloped nations access to bountiful amounts of fresh water for living, sanitization, cooking, etcetera.


This is a Rough, *EXTREMELY CRUDE* drawing of the device (cross-section) that I have made in the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) open source photo program, that will be used as a visual aid to facilitate comprehension of the relatively simple concepts that the device utilizes.

(To facilitate and expedite worldwide implementation, of course)

This device functions due to the mailable vapor point of water in different pressures, as indicated here:


Now, as you can see, Water (At atmospheric pressure) boils at 100C or 212F.

As the ambient pressure decreases, the boiling point decreases as well, to the point where at 1psia the boiling point of water is 100F (37.7C) which is just slightly higher than the normal average temperature (and in some places, IS the average temperature)

The system consists (as pictured above) of a reservoir of water from a common source (river/lake/ocean) and a single tube that draws the water into the distilling chamber.

The (inlet/outlet) tube's height is such that a water column will maintain the vacuum pressure in the system on both the inlet, and outlet column.

As such, the inlet and outlet columns are the same height. (Or the water level is the same on the inlet and outlet side)

The working principle is that of refrigeration, where the compressor supplies high pressure refrigerant to the condenser coils (Shown in red at the bottom) that supplies heat to the water, warming it to it's vapor point.

The Evaporator coils run underneath the collection tray at the top (Shown in orange), and cool the vapor rich air, allowing the now purified water vapor to condense upon its surface, and be collected, and ejected through the outlet pipe.

In this fashion, the heat energy is collected from the distilled water, and returned to the heated water reservoir at the bottom, to continue heating and vaporizing the water.

Water lost at the bottom through evaporation will tend to draw more in from the inlet tube to maintain the vacuum in the system.

Water collected at the top will tend to make the outlet water column heavier (Taller) and thus eject the water from the outlet (J) pipe.

Constant pressure (vacuum) will be maintained by the water column's inlet and outlet columns.

In this fashion, distillation of water can be accomplished with considerably less energy than traditional distillation methods, and with a minimum of parts.

posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 07:22 PM
Blue Gold is a passion of mine.

Joining this discussion to see where it goes.

posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 07:55 PM
I'm no expert on water and purifying it so I will just say good luck

posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 07:55 PM
reply to post by ErtaiNaGia

looks to technical for me, ill just keep on distilling with a fresnel lens or fire.

posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 03:22 PM
reply to post by ErtaiNaGia

Sorry man,

you're more than ten years behind the curve on that idea. Its already been patented and is in use in several places around the world, one being a large resort on one of the hawiian islands.
The system provides fresh water AND a small amount of electricity, they use the steam generated to turn a turbine to run the pumps.
The main difference is that it has to be done in an area with a high water temp differential.
Warm surface water is injected into a vacuum chamber, it turns to steam, runs the turbine then is condensed back to a liquid by the colder deeper water. its an elegant system, kudos to you for coming up with it independantly.
edit on 28-2-2011 by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 10:47 AM
reply to post by punkinworks10

Would you be able to link examples of the working system?

I'm quite curious myself, it's sort of a pipe dream of mine.

I'm also interested in no maintenance or fuel power supplies.

posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by Alina

Ive looked for more recent info on the subject but cant find any.
The article i read was at least 10 years ago, might have been as long as 15 while I was writing a paper for an engineering class.

The system I read about had some very specific environmental requirements.

1)Lots of warm semi tropical/tropical sunshine.
2) A large temperature gradient in the water, warm suface water with very much colder water deeper.
Places like hawaii and san diego were mentioned in the article as being perfect for the system.
The way the system worked is as follows

You have a floating platform with a clear plexigalss/lexan chamber.
The chamber is kept at a very low pressure, and warm surface water is injected into it.
The water flashes to steam and drives a turbine that generates electricity. The steam is then moved into the condenser coils which are deeper in the water colum, thus being colder and the steam condenses to fresh water that is then pumped to shore.
I think the real proprietary secret was how they dealt with the salts precipitated from the sea water.
The main focus was electrical generation and the fresh water was usable byproduct.

On a related note my ex-wife is a HVAC mechical engineer, and she headed the mechanical design for a cutting edge installation of a fuel cell to power a government remodel of a 1920's era 15 story building.
The fuel cell, manufactured by a japanese company, runs on natural gas.
They used a catalytic cracker to break the natural gas into hydrogen and carbon.
The hydrogen powers the fuel cell that generates enough electricty to power the whole building and all of the buildings on the same block.
The reacted H2 exhuasts as hot and cold water, which were used for both heat and cooling of the building and hot and cold running water. The carbon is collected on a regular basis and is sold to whom ever buys pure carbon.
The system was part of a DoD grant to take important regional gov. facilities off of the public electrical grid during the california electrical crisis of 2000-2001.
I dont think my ex ever truley appreciated how cutting edge the work she was doing at the time was.

edit on 5-3-2011 by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 02:13 AM
I have posted some articles (new ones) for you, you might find them helpful in your endeavor. If you need more research articles I may be able to locate them for you.

Just enter the captcha and download.

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