Solar steam generators are used to turn sea water into clean water. They convert energy from the sun into heat in order to filter the water. It does so by evaporating the sea water into steam leaving behind the salt and impurities. The steam is then condensed into clean water. Solar steam generators are generally efficient but they still lose energy through heat dissipation.
Researchers started looking at ways to improve the efficiency. They got the inspiration for a three dimensional photothermal material. The 3D generator was found to have a 50% higher evaporation rate and had a better light absorption rate. This is as a result of the peaks and valleys that the 3D generator has compared to the flat surface of the 2D version. The origami inspired solar steam generator was made by depositing a light-absorbing Nano carbon composite onto a cellulose membrane that was patterned with miura fold.
Solar Steam generators have made it easier to get clean water to people. The earth is mostly covered in water, however, most of it is undrinkable, causing communities struggle to find drinking water. If solar steam generators are able to be mainstreamed, it will be a big step in solving the global water crisis. The progress with 3D solar steam generators paints a bright future on the journey to solve the water crisis with the oceans of undrinkable water we have available.
What do you think of this new origami inspired solar steam generator? Let us know in the comments.
Don’t forget to sign up for a Home Energy & Home Improvement Maintenance Inspection for a more energy efficient home.