Eliodomestico is a solar-powered water filter that can be made from simple and readily available materials and is capable of purifying 5 liters of water each day. Developed by Italian designer Gabriele Diamanti, the water filter is essentially a solar still that boils water and separates it from other elements and delivers clean and pure drinking water. Made from terracotta, anodized zinc, and recycled plastic, Eliodomestico operates without filters or electricity, and requires minimal maintenance. The open source design was recently named as one of 12 finalists in the Prix Émile Hermès 2011 competition.
Diamanti’s solar powered water filter is designed to provide drinking water for families in developing countries. Eliodomestico is a solar still that operates a bit like an upside-down coffee maker. At the beginning of the day, water is poured into the terracotta chamber. As the day begins the still heats up and eventually gets hot enough to boil the water, creating steam. The steam forced into the expansion nozzle at the top and then condenses against the lid, where it then drips down into the catch basin below. At the end of the day, assuming it was hot enough outside, there will be 5 liters of fresh drinking water available.
The solar-powered filter can function without fuel, electricity, filters, and it requires no maintenance. These devices can also be built anywhere from readily available materials – anyone who can throw a pot can handcraft the main elements necessary for the water filter. Diamanti estimates that a normal solar still costs around $100 dollars and only produces about 3 liters a day, while his Eliodomestico could be made for $50 and produce 5 liters. The design is available as an open-source project for anyone who wants to make one and is licensed under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.