Solarball makes cleans water with sun light

by: Mirjam Visser, 2011-03-25 02:17:04 UTC
Sustainability Aspects: Make drinking water with sun light


Shortlisted for the James Dyson Award

Safe and accessible drinking water is one of the rarest resources on the planet. 1-in-8 people in our world don’t have access to potable water, causing nearly 80% of sickness and disease in third world regions. The Solarball is a response to this crisis. The Solarball provides up to 3 litres of drinkable water per day – enough drinking water for one adult. Using evaporation as a means of purification, the Solarball provides a smart, functional and efficient design solution to a worldwide problem.

Jonathan, why does the product represent design excellence and why do you believe it deserves an Australian Design Award?

The Solarball brings innovation to a design category that needs more heroes. While not being the first product ever to utilize the ‘process of evaporation’, the Solarball encapsulates this common process in a unique way: combining efficiency, user interface, and iconic styling into a compact personal unit. The intricate details of the interface and the internal design/layout of the product are evident: from the opening/locking mechanism, to the form of the gutter, right down to the minute details, such as the slight tilt of the Solarball – ensuring that water flows naturally to its’ point of dispersion. Innovation in a simple but practical way.

The Form of the Solarball is unique and emotive. The spherical shape was specifically used to capture light and heat from all 360 degrees, while also lending itself to being easily carried/transported. The compact form also ensures that heat is collected and stored within the capsule as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Function of the Solarball is the hero. Not only aesthetically pleasing, the Solarball is a fully functional design – that takes every little detail into consideration. The form, material choice, material finish, and layout all lend to the main purpose of the product: water purification. The prototype has been tested (within reason) and proves successful in providing purified/drinkable water. The Solarball does this through collecting and storing heat, causing evaporation to occur – which in turn forms condensation on the roof of the ball – which is then collected as drinkable water. All aspects of user function have been taken into consideration: from the refill point (user inserts dirty water), to the dispersion point, to the opening/closing finger indentations and mechanism, to the user symbols, and also the ergonomic handling of the product. The product also takes into consideration communicating to people of different cultures. The colours and symbols used in the design of the Solarball are of neutral ground, and are easily understood by people from all backgrounds/cultures.

The Solarball has been designed as a working prototype, and therefore represents the actual material finish and quality of the manufactured product. All parts are designed for manufacture in mind, and all parts have been acknowledged by industry professionals as being able to be manufactured in large quantities. The prototype is constructed out of Acrylic, which is a close representation of the products intended final material: Makrolon Polycarbonate.

The Solarball is safe and practical, and is also 100% sustainable. The chosen material is fully recyclable, and has a long lifespan given daily exposure to harsh conditions. The product/material choice complies with food and water safety standards, and is designed taking the intended user environment into consideration.

All in all: The Solarball represents excellence because it encapsulates form, function and and innovation in a meaningful and successful way.

Designer: Jonathan Liow
Manufacturer: non in production yet
Category: drinking water


Solarball in Africa
Solarball in Africa
by Jonathan

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