While our planet may be made up mostly of water, and electricity is used in every developed country, both of these resources are in tragically short supply in many places around the globe. Moreover, the majority of still developing countries are located on or near the equator, which receives more sunlight and rainfall than just about anywhere else on Earth. NOS, a design consulting company founded by Agustin Saiz Otegui, has designed a simple solution called Photoflow that aims to provide solar power and rainwater collection in one single unit for households in underdeveloped areas.
The design is a simple one: eight triangular photovoltaic modules are assembled into an octagon with a slight slope of 3 degrees. As rain lands on the solar panels, it flows down to the center of the unit, where it drains through a filter and into a water tank. This allows the solar panels to double as a catch for the rain, providing both electricity and water.
The solar cells are covered in an anti-reflective surface to minimize loss through reflected light, and they also utilize a nano repellent film which helps to keep dirt from collecting on the surface and obstructing light. A lid is also built into the end of each module to allow easy access for cleaning or maintenance.The design is an elegant solution; combining functions into one unit to provide both power and water, and in a very simple device. NOS is currently looking for funding for the project, in the hope that the units can adorn homes across the globe, and offer needed electricity and drinking water to those in need.