Print Email Facebook Twitter Water purification in the water stressed areas of emerging markets Title Water purification in the water stressed areas of emerging markets Author Voorzee, N. Contributor Kandachar, P.V. (mentor) Peck, D. (mentor) Faculty Industrial Design Engineering Department Design Engineering Programme Master of Science Integrated Product Design Date 2010-07-12 Abstract Many sources mention that over 1 billion people lack adequate access to drinking water. A majority of these people live in countries of emerging economies. In many cases this problem involves poor and remote areas with little infrastructure of sewage and safe water supply. For these people, often referred to as the Base of the Pyramid (BoP), obtaining drinking water is a cumbersome and sometimes impossible task. There is a range of initiatives and solutions to this problem, but evidently these are not sufficient or widely applicable. A well-known technique is the solar still, which uses the sun as the only energy source. Although the existing devices using this technique do work, it has not resulted in many commercially interesting consumer products. An employee of the company Pilgrims Consult came up with an innovative idea after visiting one of the problem areas described above, the state of Gujarat in India. He turned to the faculty of industrial design engineering to help him develop his innovation, as a result this graduation project was initiated. In an early stage of the project a patent search was carried out to assess the uniqueness of the proposed idea. Similar but no identical patents were found. The project revolved around the following research question: “Does the improved solar still concept work, theoretically and practically, both in laboratory as in-field conditions?” To answer this question several aspects were analysed and calculations on the thermodynamic process were carried out. From those results a lab set-up was designed and tested. It was proven that the principle worked and it was decided that further development was justified. With the practical test results improvements were made and a field trip to India was arranged to test the design on location. A prototype was build in Ahmedabad and tested in Kothara, a city in the Kachchh district. During the in-field research period also 8 families were visited and interviewed on their water consumption habits, living space and income. Notes on the local context were made to generate a good description this water stressed area. On return water quality tests and concluding activities were carried out to be able to evaluate the results. The main conclusion with regard to the research question is that the principle is working but the output of drinking water is still not high enough to be competitive in market. There are indications that show that an improved performance can be achieved by redesigning several aspects of the current design proposal. On the user side, it has been confirmed that the need and interest in such a solution is indeed present. There is a clear awareness for drinking water quality. Users have access to water but are not satisfied with the quality and sometimes face drought periods. The context found in the Kachchh district offers good opportunities to implement such a product. There is a high pace of development and economic activity but there still is a serious water problem. The solar radiation is certainly present and strong enough to be able power the distillation process. Furhtermore, the water quality test carried out by the UNESCO-IHE convincingly confirm that the proposed distillation system is capable of delivering safe drinking water according to the WHO and EU standards. A rough cost estimation shows that the design is not yet economically interesting to the potential users in emerging markets. It also shows that the competing products are not fully unreachable. Finally a suggestion of redesign opportunities and a plan for further research has been proposed. Subject water purificationwater stressed areasemerging markets To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:42047dc1-4620-4c3e-b196-9f440a615732 Embargo date 2011-07-12 Access restriction Campus only Part of collection Student theses Document type master thesis Rights (c) 2010 Voorzee, N.