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Home » Innovative techniques, Water, Featured

Solar Bottle

Submitted by on March 15, 2009 – 2:54 pmNo Comment

Author: Alberto Meda & Francisco Gomez Paz

Short description of the design:
Bottle disinfects dirty water to prevent diseases

How did this design improve life and for whom?:
Bottle can improve the life of an enormous quantity of people, by providing them with safe water to drink wherever there is no access to improved water supply. No access to good quality drinking water leads to a high risk of water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, dysentery and other diseases. One sixth of the world’s population has no access to safe water today. Bottle utilizes a water treatment method named SODIS (Solar Disinfection System) a simple, environmentally sustainable, low-cost solution for drinking water treatment at household level for people consuming microbiologically contaminated raw water. Contaminated water is filled into transparent plastic bottles and exposed to full sunlight for six hours. During the exposure to the sun the pathogens are destroyed. The SODIS system has been used in South America, Africa and the Far East with good results, with the new Bottle design the results and the diffusion of the system can increase.


Possible drawbacks of life improvement:

What is the decisive role of the designer/design team in the creation of the nominated design?:
Designers have given an appropriate shape to a system for purifying water known as SODIS, Solar Water Disinfection. SODIS uses solar energy to destroy pathogenic micro organisms causing water borne diseases and therewith it improves the quality of drinking water. Pathogenic micro organisms are vulnerable to two effects of the sunlight: radiation in the spectrum of UV-A light (wavelength 320-400nm) and heat (increased water temperature). From these known facts the designers developed a new water container that resolves at best the functionality needs: holds up to 4 litres of water, the dark half of the container augments the temperature inside the bottle, the handle regulates the angle for best solar exposition and allows easy transportation, the slim shape facilitates storage and transportation.
How did the design aspect help provide coherent whole concerning form, function,
resources, user kindness, aesthetics etc.:

Compared with the conventional water bottles actually used for the SODIS process, the new 4 litres container has a high ratio surface-thickness and a dark face that absorbs the infrared sunrays augmenting the temperature and improving disinfection. The reduced thickness facilitates also the transportation and the storage. A special handle integrates the angular regulation needed to improve sun exposure depending in which latitude of the world the process is executed. In the back of the container a series of embedded iconic graphics explain, using simple and immediate drawings, the proper use of the system.

The process used to create the design:
The designers, invited to participate of an exhibition under the general theme “H2O” at Milan’s International Furniture Fair, learned about the SODIS system and it’s potential to improve the lives of many. Moved by their will to help others with their own creativity and skills, they designed a container that brings the best out of the SODIS system. The design duo developed the container up to an advanced stage, doing 3D computer models and pushing to find a company interested in manufacturing the container. Bottle was presented in the H2O exhibition in Milan last April and has been published by some magazines. Hopefully it will find a producer soon.


Functionallity and use of design:
Bottle is a lowcost container capable of disinfecting water for people consuming microbiologically contaminated raw water. The PET bottle, manufactured with a bi-colour blown injection moulding process, has a dual face: a transparent face for maximum UV-A rays collection and a black face that absorbs the infrared sunrays augmenting the temperature and improving disinfection. The reduced thickness assists the transportation and the storage. The handle regulates the angulation for best sun caption
ame of Designer(s):

Alberto Meda & Francisco Gomez Paz.
Designer’s professional status:
Status of realization:
Kind of design:
Produced by:
Designed in country:
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