Sun4Water was presented at Fondazione Cariplo. It is a portable solar-powered water purification system for use in all those places where conventional energy sources are not available. This project has involved six organizations and four countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania.
Technological innovation for development: these are the key words of Sun4Water, a project shared and supported by Fondazione Cariplo.
How Sun4Water works
Sun4Water is a highly innovative ‘plug-and-play’ system that purifies contaminated fresh water turning it into drinkable water. It was developed to address the needs of people who do not have access to clean drinking water and electricity, estimated to be some 1 billion people globally. Powered by solar energy captured through a solar panel, the Sun4Water system includes a battery and has electronic controls. A pump pushes contaminated water through a 4-stage filtration process which includes sedimentation, activated carbon and a combination of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis, and removes viruses, bacteria and heavy metals of up to 0.0001 micron in diameter. Sun4Water produces about 20 liters of drinking water per hour of solar radiation. As confirmed by tests conducted on it, Sun4Water filtered water meets World Health Organization water quality standards.
Except for replacement of two bayonet-style filter cartridges (supplied with the system) Sun4Water needs no maintenance for ten years, is easy to start and operate: what you need to do is just open the solar panel in the indicated position and push the ‘start’ button.
The system’s key innovative features are its ease of use, ability to filter out both organic (bacteria, viruses) and inorganic contaminants (heavy metals), and its water storage tank with an ozone generator that ensures filtered water remains clean and drinkable over time. Sun4Water also produces enough electricity to charge some mobile phones and power some LED lamps connected to its 12V outlet and USB port.
Sun4Water can provide clean drinking water and electricity, both essential for modern life, at a highly affordable cost: €1 to €2 per person/year depending on the amount of solar radiation in the Region where the system is installed.