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Solar Powered Water Purifier for Disaster Relief

Spectra Watermakers' solar powered water purifier
Spectra Watermakers’ solar powered water purifier.

Finding uncontaminated drinking water is one of the biggest problems in disaster relief according to USAID, CARE, the United Nations, and other disaster relief organizations. The Solar Container is a solution; it would eliminate the spread of water transmitted diseases, negate “the second wave of deaths,” give farmers desalinated water that wouldn’t kill their crops, reduce logistical planning, and produce enough excess energy to charge communication equipment. Trunz/ Spectra Watermakers’ Solar Container is cutting-edge field technology designed to meet the requirements FEMA outlined in their Operational Requirements Document released in April of 2009.

The Solar Container is powered by renewable solar or wind energy and can produce over 8,000 gallons of virus-free drinking water per day. Currently in Pakistan clean water is trucked in over rough roads and contaminated flood water is treated with single-use water purification tablets. Haiti relies on above ground pipes that often rupture. These are temporary solutions; the Solar Container can operate without generator or fuel which eliminates follow-up logistical attention during emergencies. The Solar Container has been designed for the harshest desert conditions; the equipment is installed in a sealed, lockable, air-conditioned container.

The product is a joint venture of Spectra Watermakers Inc., a California company known within the marine industry for its reverse osmosis watermaking equipment, and Trunz Water Systems, a Swiss manufacturing company. The Solar Container is made possible by the integration of the Spectra Pearson pump, a revolutionary water treatment technology that dramatically reduces the power required for desalination. The Spectra Pearson pump, found in several of Spectra’s watermakers, is a new proprietary pump developed by Spectra to meet the needs of a thirsty world. It is an environmentally clean solution for anyone in need of water where energy is expensive or inaccessible; all you need is water, sunlight, and a cup. The Solar Container is presently on site at Spectra Watermakers in San Rafael.

The Solar Container works by placing a pump into a brackish or saltwater source. The water is pumped through a series of filters to remove large matter then filtered through eight reverse osmosis membranes which purify the water at an ionic level, eliminating bacteria, viruses, salts, and dangerous chemicals.

The Solar Container runs on self-sustaining green technology. The integrated photovoltaic solar panels charge the water purifier’s 24 volt batteries.

Spectra Watermakers Inc. is headquartered in San Rafael, California and was the first to produce desalinated water in an energy efficient, quiet, and ultra-reliable manner. Currently, their products are distributed globally, with agents located in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, the Persian Gulf, and the Pacific Rim.

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