Called “Eliodomestico,” which roughly translated means “Sun-household”, the device is low-tech and low-cost, made of simple, replaceable parts that will be familiar to those who use it. To use the still, it must first be filled with salt or brackish water during the morning hours. Once the boiler is tightly sealed, climbing temperatures cause the pressure inside to increase. The resulting steam is forced downwards through a connection pipe and collects in the lid, which acts as a condenser, turning the steam into fresh water.
Eventually, the solar-powered home distillery could provide benefits that extend far beyond fresh water. “It can deliver very positive outcomes for the local economies, because it’s designed to be produced (and eventually repaired) by local craftsmen, thus generating a market,” writes Diamanti. “Craftsmen from many different places can produce the distiller, using the materials that they already can manage. The production techniques are very sustainable, already present in the developing countries, so there is no need to teach anything to the craftsmen.” The project recently won a Core77 Design Award for Social Impact, and Diamanti hopes that soon, people will adapt the opensource design to solve problems in their own region.