Today we launched the Airdrop Water Distiller on Kickstarter. I have no idea what those three parts cost to have made, but I will ask around, and put them together in the garage, if no one else will. If I had one, I’d use it for my radiator leak. I often just put in bottled water, since I can’t yet make a cup of stove-top distilled water. The airdrop-able model seems useful, and they could have used a pot lid like this in Ohio not too long ago. It takes too much energy to distill water for daily use, but if your out completely, or in a disaster zone, it would come in handy. The pros use pressure, and this raises the efficiency to make it affordable. Hmm…but I like low tech. We are considering something like a percolator with places for the liquid water to move down, and the stem to take the steam straight up, without making it go back through the liquid water. On the internet, it says to use the steam or cooling end to preheat the water on its way in, and then in a disaster I would dig a small hole for the collection bottle, and run some of the hose through the ground for cooling, so we might go straight to a six foot hose or more. My friend Kirk suggests a funnel rather than a pot lid, clipped on to the pot. This would work in a pinch, and is nice for the tight connection to the flex tube, but maybe too tight. The parts must expand together, and have enough play if they do not expand together. Half the genius of this thing is simply to manufacture the parts to fit one another, and the whole pot lid especially for the purpose of distilling water. Another fellow has a pot lid with a hole drilled in it, and this one combines features of those two, though it came all at once over a year ago. I wonder about the best way to refill this thing. Maybe I’ll include a wooden wrench, some oven mitts and a separate wrench-style pot handle!
Here are some updates: Frank Mendez, at WaterDistillers.com, has a manufactured stove top distiller that works, as Lars has pointed out to me on Kickstarter (Thanks!). I still like mine, for simplicity, etc. But his is brilliant for its use of the preheating for condensing, and he too assumes that we have pots of various sizes available. His fit different sizes from 9-11,” so he has rejected the standard 7,” which I have as a place to begin, with the most common size, for when one is really out of clean water. His could be airdropped into disaster zones, even with a pot or two. I bet they have metric pots in Haiti, so his might even fit these.
The solar ovens on the internet do work: I like the parabola. My stand is developing, maybe glass around the underneath of the pot, on the high part of the stand, to keep the heat in. Multiple glasses and mirrors works very well. A circle of 12 small ones might ring the stand, joining to boil the water. Parabolas might follow the sun with sensors for light or shadow behind the parabola itself,, set to shift till they are both in sunlight. What is it that magnetizes in the sunlight? Then the parabola, floating like a compass needle, could be made to follow the sun. Two sensors at each edge of the shadow of the parabola, which is on a rotating stand. The sensors are solar electro-magnets, and when the east magnet turns off, the west magnet, which is on, pulls the stand around, because it is attracted to metal on a stationary ring around the stand. It moves until the east magnet comes on again, when it is in the sun again. We might need just one west sensor and a radius, instead of a whole stand. Now our parabolic mirrors can follow the sun, at least a little. A Parabola on a stand would need to move around high and low according to the date, or according to how high the sun is in the sky. Then it needs to follow the sun around for the 12 hours of the day, which may as well be done with a clock. So the parabola can sit on a round stand that is either a clock or an electromagnet rotater, and then on a vertical stand to tilt it according to the date.
Now I want to make solar rooms on the South ends of houses, with mirrors and magnifying glasses to make a solar furnace, or at least an indoor solar grill. Maybe a glass solar/Kerosene furnace for my medium sized people pods. Much of the early winter is grey and cloudy around here.
I still want to put water distillers on furnaces and cast iron wood stoves, to distill water for zero energy dollars. That would be my low tech answer to the use of pressure, which drops the boiling point of the water.
Other ingenious items featured on my Inventions page include the smallest people pods, an insulated triangle, and thoughts about the next smallest, and how I will get the roof to collect rainwater, and the gutters to flow high in the wall above the low sink, and how I will prepare for the water stored in the wall to freeze, like have a huge freezable bag in there. For refugees, freezing may not be a concern, and the water tank could be emptied, or it would just break. But it is long past time we had triangle beds, then we could even drop the house heat a bit at night. The homeless sometimes live in cardboard boxes, so for the price these would be an improvement. Today I worked on the hinged door, and how to safely ventilate these things.
Water evaporating might be done on sea-side indoors, even with glass, like recycled windows, which are free. What kind of plastic is least absorbed by water? We’ll include a good piece of clean plastic in the package for airlifting, instead of shipping popcorn.
Oil skimming too might best be done if a chamber inside a large ship would still the waves, and then a drain collect the oil from below the water level. Maybe this is what that huge oil skimmer that volunteered in the Gulf was doing. Just get a giant pop bottle and sink it down below the surface!
Visit my Inventions page, up one level and the dashboard and over a bit.