Solar-powered water purification plants may help solve arsenic contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh.
Developed by engineers from Lund University in Sweden, the plants use UV-LED technology to purify water. Equipped with intelligent software and a Wi-Fi connection, the 12V units are so efficient they can be powered by a single photovoltaic panel.
â€œ750 million people lack access to clean water across the globe,â€ said Kenneth M Persson, professor of water resources engineering at Lund University and one of the inventors of the system. â€œProviding safe drinking water is one of the biggest challenges and one of the most important goals for humanity.â€
Nine (9) units are currently being installed in Bangladesh as part of a pilot project that hopes to provide access to safe drinkable water to inhabitants of the impoverished south Asian state, which struggles with arsenic contamination of water resources.
The portable purification units, so-called Micro Production Centres (MPC), are managed by local suppliers and help create jobs for young, unemployed people who run the small facilities and sell clean water in exchange for a small fee.
Smart software constantly monitors the units and sends alerts in the form of text messages to the operator if anything goes wrong. Due to its low energy requirements, the unitâ€™s solar panel generates enough power to charge a small battery that can power the unit overnight, allowing 24-hour operation without access to the grid.
â€œThanks to these portable units, communities can now purchase inexpensive, clean water,â€ Persson said. â€œAt the same time a lot of them can make a small profit by running the plants themselves.â€
The firm has recently signed a contract with the United Nations to place a further 500 portable units in Bangladesh.
â€œThe installations are hopefully only the first step to set up similar structures in several other countries that lack access to clean water,â€Â Persson said.
Originally fromÂ Phys.org