The sun and a Helio sphere are enough to make any water drinkable. Through a self-contained distillation and mineralization process, unclean water is pumped back to the center of the sphere. Then, under the effect of heat, micro-droplets containing all the impurities and bacteria will evaporate upwards and then flow towards the south pole of the sphere. “It is an extremely simple process”rejoices Anahoa Moua, project manager at the start-up Marine Tech, which has developed this technology.
The one cubic meter spheres are one size and each weigh 90 kilograms. A Helio module produces an average of 10 liters of drinking water per day, which is the quantity necessary for the daily consumption of a family of five. Sunshine and the outside temperature play a key role in the distillation process. “It was designed to bring drinking water to regions where people have difficulty accessing it. With this technology, we favor coastal areas but it also works near a river or a mountain water source.”
Spheres linked together to create a drinking farm Helio
So far, spheres have bloomed in Tahiti, Oman and Spain. And the HelioWater project is underway to install around ten modules in Madagascar. “The spheres can be linked together to produce a greater quantity of drinking waterdetails Anahoa Moua. We are then talking about a Helio farm”.
At the same time, a new clientele is beginning to emerge. “We have more and more hotels interested in Helio. They are looking for greener solutions to meet the needs of their customers”, explains Anahoa Moua. Thus, two modules are being sent to Miami, in the United States.
A sustainable solution, powered by solar panels
Simple to install and use, a module requires two people to be assembled in almost two hours. “Helio was designed to be delivered to areas where there is certainly a lack of water, but where access to additional equipment is also complicated. The goal was for it to be usable simply and quickly.” To date, 800 million people do not have access to drinking water.
Built from noble materials, a module has a lifespan of at least thirty years, assures the designer. The only energy needed for the process is the power supply for the pump, which is powered by solar panels. If Marine Tech specifies that the price is decreasing, it is nevertheless necessary to count 4000 euros for a Helio sphere.