"Millions of people in developing countries do not have readily available water, or they become sick because of the water they drink," he said. "Common problems include microbial pathogens, which are largely associated with human and animal waste."
"If you take a global view of people who have little or no access to safe water, you'll see that most live close to the equator," Blatchley said. "Solar UV radiation is abundant in equatorial and near-equatorial nations."
Applegate said the
"The shape of the reflective mirror concentrates the sun's UV rays so the radiation inside the pipe is more intense than outside," he said. "The radiation damages the DNA in microorganisms. The microbes can no longer grow and the water is safe."
Blatchley said the results from experiments conducted in
"The maximum solar irradiance that occurs in
The researchers now are determining how to scale up production in the system, which currently produces water at a rate of about 10-20 milliliters per minute.
"The original prototypes were intentionally built on a small scale so we could conduct experiments using a relatively modest amount of time and resources," Blatchley said. "We have ideas on how we expect it to scale up, and we plan to demonstrate those."
A video about the system is available at http://youtu.be/mldIzgpRvdo
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