- The 2021 Lexus Design Award has been won by a portable solar distiller, designed by Henry Glogau.
- This aims to provide anyone in the world with clean drinking water; its versatile design means that it can function in a variety of environments.
- The portable distiller works through solar desalination, which relies on evaporation and condensation.
- Glogau hopes to further refine and improve his design, believing these ideas have potential to be used at a larger scale.
A portable solar distiller which aims to provide anyone in the world with clean drinking water has won this year’s Lexus Design Award.
The project has been designed by Henry Glogau, who explains that the design can be prefabricated or locally sourced and manufactured or a mix of the two.
“The design is adaptable to local surroundings and available resources,” he adds. The prefabricated model consists of a plastic canopy to hold the water, an internal funnel to collect the liquid and a bamboo support structure.
This can be adjusted to use only canopy and funnel, according to Glogau, meaning that the structure could be suspended between buildings for example. “This hybrid version also acts as a shelter for shade with space underneath to stand or sit,” he says.
The design is also adaptable in terms of materials used. A locally sourced version might use wooden parts, explains Glogau, or a plastic bottle as the funnel.
“The purpose of my design is to encourage others to hack and adapt the system I have created to best suit their needs and environment,” he adds. According to Glogau, the distiller can purify up to 18 litres of undrinkable or polluted water in a 12 hour period.
The distillation works through solar desalination, which relies on two processes: evaporation and condensation. This mirrors the hydrological cycle where water is evaporated by the sun, condensed into clouds and precipitated through rain.
In Glogau’s design, the 2.2m diameter canopy is made from…