Finding a solution to the issue of accessing clean water in impoverished nations has been a challenge to world leaders and advocates for decades. Most purification technologies are cumbersome and difficult to deploy in remote areas. However, the efforts of Swedish engineers to solve this problem have resulted in the creation of the Solvatten, a water treatment machine that is portable and simple to use.
According to the Solvatten AB website, the technology runs entirely on solar energy. When exposed to direct sunlight, the unit requires between two and six hours to fully purify the water put inside of it. Afterwards, through a combination of filters, heat dischargers that warm the water up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and low-level UV radiation to kill life-threatening bacteria, the liquid is safe to drink. Built inside the device are five-liter liquid compartments which enable communities to efficiently produce clean fluids. The company estimates that the system can produce up to 30 liters of drinkable water per day.
This unique product caught the attention of Soluxe Solar, a multinational producer of solar panels that awards a weekly "Solar Flare" award that honors inventions and initiatives that encourage low-impact living and renewable energy sources.
"The Solvatten purifier is a perfect example of the power of solar to improve, and in this case, potentially save lives," Soluxe Solar's CEO, Jeffrey Mayer, said in a press release. "This is exactly the kind of exciting innovation we want to recognize and help promote through our Solar Flare award."
The Solvatten's creator, Petra Wadstrom, began working on the technology in the late 1990s. After several attempts to manufacture the product, the design team finally completed a working prototype and formed Solvatten AB in 2006. In recent years, the organization has begun producing the device on a commercial scale, a development that could one day bring much-needed water to millions of poverty-stricken individuals and families.