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Overview: The Solarball

Water scarcity is going to be on the rise with global warming and rising climate change impacting human life. Over the last decades, the summer season has extended, which affects a huge number of countries by drought. With more than 1 billion people lacking access to clean and safe drinking water. Due to rising climate change and global warming, water scarcity might arise and impact human life particularly those people living in noncivilized regions where there is a huge lack of some resources. According to the World Health Organization, almost 1.6 billion people are dying annually due to poor sanitation and lack of clean water in the area, where it can be preventable if only they were given proper health care and sanitation. Also, the main cause of their problem is that there is no basic and proper water services being offered to these people. They are only surrounded by contaminated water from polluted running water. Aside from that, this also happens due to developing population growth and rapid urbanization in some nations. 

Good thing is, with the use of our modern technology today, some experts can produce devices that can somehow resolve this growing issue, a technology that is not expensive and complex to help those people in need. This technology is called “Solarball” which can address the water crisis most especially in rural and uncivilized areas. This device uses sunlight to clean dirty water and makes it clean and safe to drink. It is indeed helpful in countries where the availability of water is one of their biggest problems. 

What is a Solarball?

A SolarBall is a solar-powered water purifier. It was created by Jonathan Liow, a graduate student of Monash University.

The experiment on SolarBall was carried out with the aim to provide clean water, particularly in those that lack it. A Solarball can produce 3 liters of clean water on a daily basis in the areas that receive proper sunlight.

A SolarBall is a spherical unit, which absorbs sunlight and makes the dirty water inside to evaporate. As the evaporation happens, the contaminants are separated from the water, and generate drinkable condensation. Then the condensation is collected and stored, and the water is ready for drinking.

A short video about Solarball:

Solarball is a solar-powered device used to purify drinking water. It is a spherical shape unit that can absorb sunlight and make the dirty water inside the ball to evaporate so it can produce clean water that is safe to drink. The main reason why this device was made and experimented is to provide clean water, particularly to help those people in some regions that have no access to clean drinking water. 

A Solarball device can produce 3 litres or 3 quarts of purified drinking water daily provided that there is an ample amount of sunlight in the area. It has a simple user-friendly design and consists of a clear plastic sphere that users can fill with water. Also, it was made with a weather-resistant construction material that is durable enough to withstand the constant blazing heat of the sun. It was made to last longer during summer seasons. It is also a hundred percent sustainable, as its materials can be recycled and it is safe to use because the materials were chosen carefully, and the materials were specifically based on food and water safety standards.

The only issue of using this is, it has a minimal capacity to store water. It can only produce less than a gallon of water per day and obviously, it cannot satisfy the water needs of one person. So, an individual user must have a couple of these Solarballs to support his/her drinking water and cooking water needs. 

Moreover, this solar-powered water purifying device was invented and made by Jonathan Liow, an Australian student, who studied Industrial Design at Monash University. 

It has been reported that Solarball has been included in one of the finalists in the 2011 Australian Design Awards—James Dyson Award. Aside from that, it was exhibited in Salone Internazionale del Mobile at the Milan International Design Fair in April 2011.

The Invention of Solarball: When it all started?

The invention of Solarball all started when Jonathan Liow—an Australian student who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design at Monash University, had an opportunity to visit Cambodia in 2018 during his final year at the University. When he arrived at the place, he saw that most people living there were covered with mud and preserving a heap of rice on a plastic sheet. He also observed that those people have no basic amenities to store their food and they have no access to clean water. Upon seeing all these heartbreaking scenes of poverty in some regions of Cambodia, he realized that he needs to do something about it. Since he was studying Industrial design and he has a future in this career, he decided to make an innovative technology to help those people in need. “Seeing the immense lack of everyday products we take for granted, I was inspired to use my design skills to help others”, he also said. 

He started looking for appropriate and relevant designs for the project until he arrived with a reliable device that can help the people living in rural areas to purify water since they were all surrounded by contaminated water supply. He has this vision in life that technology does not always have to be complex and expensive to help people in need. So, he designed and created a simple yet very unique and cheap device that can effectively and efficiently purify water. 

It was designed in a sphere-shaped to harness the sunlight and trap the heat of the sun from all 360 degrees. While the compact structure of the Solarball ensures that the sunlight can be stored inside the capsule as quickly as possible. This device can also be carried easily anytime and anywhere. It was also made by eco-friendly materials that can be recycled, which makes it practical and sustainable. It has a weather-resistance that can withstand all types of weather, particularly during hot seasons. 

Nonetheless, its design has still little problems, like the size of the Solarball, it looks very portable and handy but its size cannot generate enough water supply for the whole family as it can only carry a gallon of water. So, to have enough water needs, a group of a family should have a lot of Solarballs, which is still one of the problems for this device has only minimal production. But, it is indeed a good start. 

The Solarball was invented and developed over the whole final year of Liow’s stay at Monash University. Moreover, Liow was invited by ABC’s show called “The New Inventors” and according to Robaid, the Solarball invention has been named as a finalist in the 2011 Australian Design Awards (James Dyson Award) and was scheduled for an exhibit at the Milan International Design Fair the next month after being a finalist in James Dyson Award. 

With his invented Solarball, it might be able to change the vast number of children dying from drinking contaminated water. 

The Principal Role of Solarball

The Solarball has eco-friendly design and solidly built, with a weather-resistant composition, which makes it suitable for all types of climatic zones and regions. This water purifier device has a ball-shaped structure wherein the dirty water is being stored. The spherical unit absorbs sunlight (but it traps the heat) which causes the stored contaminated water to evaporate. And as evaporation happens, the specks of dirt are being separated from the water. Then, through the process of condensation, it will generate clean water as it floats at the top of the Solarball’s dome or roof. Then this purified water can be collected inside the rim and can be stored in a clean container. This process repeats all day long. 

The Solarball functions easily and simple, its functional design took every small detail of the environment into consideration, so it can’t cause any harmful effect to both the environment and humans. The material choice is also based on the food and safety standards and its main function is to help all the people around the globe to have access to clean and purified water.

How to use Solarball?

The Solarball is made simple and easy for all the users. You can start using it by filling the small tank with water (seawater, or running water). Let the top surface of the device absorbed sunlight. By then, the evaporation process will take place to separate the dirt and the water. It has a gutter that will harness and release the dirt particles from the water. Then it will generate clean water through condensation and this purified water will flow in the rim. After that, you can now drink the purified water. 

The Future of Solarball

Almost 900 million people need this simple yet helpful device, considering that out of those number of people there are over two million children who die annually because of water contaminations. And Liow had been inspired by these people that he made a Solarball for them to use. 

Products and devices that help in purifying water are already existing even before. The only problem here is there is not enough funds and investment for these kinds of product to make enough supply. But this will be addressed if solar investors can see this as a great opportunity to save those children all over the world aside from making money. This device has a bigger potential in changing people’s lives without hurting the environment.

Reviews on Solarball

Solarball uses the sun to purify water

Jonathan Liow a graduate student at Monash University invented a way to help people who have no access to gas and electricity and hence to the possibility of dirty water to boil in order to disinfect and purify it.

A graduate of an Australian university designs an innovative water purification system

NoteworthyNews made a video content about Jonathan Liow’s Solarball invention. The sphere-shaped device absorbs sunlight and causes impure water in it to evaporate. During this process, contaminants are separated out, producing condensation which is collected and stored, available for drinking.

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Jonathan Liow, the man who designed Solarball makes a very aptobservation when asked about what inspired him to design this uniquedevice. He says that much of the developed world takes for granted theeveryday products that the rest of the world lack. That is so true inevery sense of the word and clean drinking water, which many of us takefor granted and pay little attention towards, is something that 1-in-8people on the planet do not have access to.

Solarball aims to solve this problem by offering a simple gadgetthat that is easy to use, convenient to handle and will work anywhere on the planet with ease. This ergonomically shaped sphere can produce 3liters of drinking water each day using the simple and natural processof evaporation. All you need to do is pour the contaminated waterthrough the refill port and place it in the sun.

By simply tapping into solar power it offers clean water as theprocess of evaporation and then condensation on the glass top ofSolarball allow you to collect clean water which you can safely use forpotable purposes. The design of Solarball has been achieved keeping inmind the final goal of the project. A sphere allows maximum heatcollection opportunity while the black lower level offers optimumconditions for heat generation.

It is simple to use, easy to carry around and not too expensive asno complicated technology is used inside. Sometimes it is the simplesolutions that are the best and Solarball is one of those. People inAfrica and much of South-East Asia who enjoy abundance of sunshine andlack access to drinking water could sure use Solarball.

Via: Monash


InTech has recently described solar power as a mainstream source of energy for many businesses. As solar technology improves, it becomes an greater source of alternative energy for many industrialplants. For manufacturing plants, energy is one of the highest costsendured. However, by utilizing solar power technology to theiradvantage, many industrial companies are able to lower costs andincrease profits. Because solar power is one of the fewenergy-generating options that do not emit pollutants, companies arealso able to reduce their carbon footprint. As American businessescontinue to strive for growth in a challenging economy, this isoptimistic news for our industrial plants, as well as for the growth ofsolar power.

Indiana is embarking on the largest solar energy project seen in the state. On April 29, 2011 over 6,000 solar panels willcreate over 2 megawatts of power on top of a federal office building.The result will be enough energy to power 1,000 homes. Central Indianais taking advantage of current federal tax incentives and subsidies tohelp supplement the project, and Indiana Power and Light Co. hasreceived multiple proposals from investors and developers interested inusing these incentives for their own solar projects in the future.

It seems that solar power is set for even more growth, and this trend occurred long before the devastating disaster in Japan. According tothe President of the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar power is the fastest growing industry in the world, and is currently growing faster than thetelecommunications industry. More residents, businesses, and largecorporations are realizing that solar energy is not just great for theenvironment; it’s a viable way to cut costs in our lives. Solar rocks!

New technology allows a “Solarball” to clean water using energy fromthe sun. Heat from the sun creates condensation in the Solarball, andusers are able to drink the clean, healthy condensation.

Original Article on Solar Pros

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