Water treatment with solar energy makes use of two different but closely knit processes. The first process is the solar water disinfection system and the second is solar distillation. Water with a low level of turbidity can be treated with solar water disinfection system whereas sea water, which has a comparatively high level of turbidity can be treated with the solar distillation process.
WATER DISTILLATION WITH SOLAR ENERGY
This system of water treatment reaps the benefit of difference in volatility of impurities. A solar heated still is used to evaporate the water. The water vapour is redirected to a different container where it cools and converts back into the water. All impurities like salts, sediments, micro-organisms, and heavy metals settle down in the container that has the solar heated still. They vapour which converts into the water again may not still be safe for drinking. It may still contain volatile organic compounds harmful to the human body.
SOLAR WATER DISINFECTION SYSTEM
This system of water treatment is fairly easier than the above method. Solar water disinfection system leverages the power of ultraviolet water treatment to treat water. Ultraviolet radiation and infrared radiation are two components of sunlight that play a key role in treating water. Both these radiations kill 99.9% of the harmful micro-organisms in less contaminated water. Heating water to 50 degree Celsius for an hour can simply eliminate all impurities in the water.
THE IDEAL SOLAR WATER TREATMENT PLANT
The ideal solar water treatment plant consists of both the disinfection system and the distillation system. The distillation system first clears all major impurities and the disinfection system makes the water drinkable as the water after distillation still contains impurities. This system is fairly easy to make at home or you can outsource the construction process to professionals. The sun plays a key role in making the system successful. The system will fail if the clouds cover the sun.
The treatment of water with solar energy is called photocatalysis. This process utilizes the sun’s ultraviolet rays to start a chemical reaction in the water. These reactions essentially attack the micro-organisms in the water. This technology for cleaning water is far better than any other method. A system properly developed along these lines can remove 100% of the impurities in water within 500 – 600 minutes.
BENEFITS OF WATER TREATMENT WITH SOLAR ENERGY
The main benefit of this technology is that it is less electricity intensive. Today, we see huge water treatment plants that use a lot of electricity, and turbines dependent on fossil fuels. This simple water treatment contraption can simplify the process without any major wastage. People think that putting the water through this will alter the taste of the water or make it weird but that is totally a misconception.
Large-scale implementation of this technology can reduce the detrimental effect of fossil fuels on the environment. This doesn’t necessarily need to be applied on the large scale, even at the household level, it can be of great functionality. The investment in this plant is nominal and the benefits you reap are priceless.