Origami Based 3D Structure Enhances Solar Water Purifier Efficiency

In Environment, Innovations, News, Technology

Desalinization usually takes place in one of two ways. Either the source water is pushed through a membrane popularly known as reverse osmosis — or the source water is heated until it evaporates and then the steam is collected and condensed to get pure water. That process is called distillation.

The solar powered distillers in use today use a two-dimensional device to absorb heat from sunlight. Some of that heat is lost to the surrounding air.  The researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia reasoned that making the part of the device that absorbs sunlight three dimensional — thereby increasing its surface area — would boost efficiency.

They were right. Using the interlocking parallelograms found in origami art, they created a 3D structure from cellulose with the peaks and valleys that are common to origami. Then they covered it with a light absorbing nanocarbon composite made from graphene oxide and carbon nanotubes.

Their new 3D heat absorber turned out to be 50% more efficient than the 2D devices used in conventional solar powered desalinization equipment. In fact, the new water purifier is nearly 100% efficient.

The ability to create abundant fresh water from sunshine could prove vital to millions of people as warmer average temperatures lead to increased desertification in more parts of the world.

 

 

 

Reference- Cleantechnica, Wikipedia

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