Solar Safe Water System
A water purifier and heater aimed to reduce a household’s dependency on heating water over a fire.
Solvatten is a combined portable water treatment and solar water heater system that has been designed for use at the household level.
Countries where Solvatten has been deployed include: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, China, India, Afghanistan, East Timor, Papau New Ginea, Angola, South Africa, Mali, Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Senegal
Solvatten is currently active in 45 different projects with various international partners and NGOs.
Quoted pricing based on purchasing volume from Solvatten directly.
Via Kopernik: $5000 for 42 units
Solarbag, commercially available solar water heaters.
Solvatten claims to have sold the product to more than 200,000 users across the world.
Solvatten is a portable 10 liter container that utilizes solar energy to heat and treat water at the household level. The unit does not require chemicals, spare parts or other supplies. Solvatten works by incorporating three established methods for treating water; • Filtration: water is poured in through a hole housing a fabric filter that catches larger particles. • Heat pasteurization: heat from the sun warms up the water, killing pathogenic material. • UV-disinfection: The high energy associated with UV sunlight causes damage to the DNA of micro-organisms, rendering them unable to reproduce or infect. Users must expose the Solvatten to 2-6 hours of direct sunlight to achieve water that is treated within the ‘Highly protective’ category defined by Swedish Cleantech.
Under optimal conditions Solvatten can be used four times a day and treat up to 40 Litres of water per day. The unit does not work effectively during heavy cloud cover or rain. The SVI-10 indicator shows when the water is safe. In addition to safe water, Solvatten heats water to up to 75°C for household and hygiene purposes, such as cooking, hand washing, bathing and domestic cleaning.
The Solvatten dimensions are 36 x 47 x 13 cm and it weighs 2.70 kg unfilled.
Solvatten provides guidance related to operation via graphic instructions that are printed on the unit. To date they have printed instructions in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Urdu, Hindi and Swahili. Technical assistance services are not indicated.
The only part that may need replacing is the filter, which can be replaced with a folded piece of locally sourced cloth.
On average, a Solvatten unit lasts seven years, but if handled with care it can last much longer. If a family uses Solvatten for seven years, treating 20 liters of water for 330 days a year, they will produce 46,200 Liters of safe water.
The unit includes a 1 year full warranty against manufacturing defects, on condition the customer has followed the use and care instructions provided.
Under optimal conditions Solvatten can be used four times a day and treat up to 40 Litres of water per day. Solvatten heats water to up to 75°C for household and hygiene purposes. Safe, warm water is achieved in 2-4 hours, when the sun is shining, 5-6 hours when it is partly cloudy.
SOLVATTEN has been tested using samples containing more than 200,000 colonies/100 ml – the results of this test showed that the treated water met the WHO’s safe drinking water standards of less than 1 colony/ 100ml. SOLVATTEN can treat highly resistant forms of bacteria, viruses and parasites. USEPA certified tests conducted in California in 2014 showed that water treated by SOLVATTEN reached the ‘Highly protective’ category, eliminating parasites, virus and E-coli. By comparison, chlorine and most filters are not able to achieve this level of protection.
Laboratory testing against E-coli, faecal coliforms, faecal Streptococci and total coliforms conducted by Water Quality Laboratory Gaborone, Botswana. Department of Water Affairs (2013) showed acceptable water quality for human consumption.
SOLVATTEN recommends cleaning inside periodically, so that it continues working efficiently by simply adding a handful of dry beans, rice or lentils and some water to the unit, before shaking and rinsing. Soft woolen balls are another alternative here. Do not use sand, as it may scratch the surface, and do not use detergents.
Lundström H & Hagström E (2012): A field study in Kenya of isolation parameters to make water drinkable in the household water treatment unit Solvatten. Uppsala University, Uppsala. not peer reviewed
Water treated by Solvatten falls into the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Highly protective category The materials used to make SOLVATTEN are fully approved by the FDA.
• Laboratory assessment conducted by BioVir Laboratories for virus, bacteria and Cryptosporidium reduction in two challenge waters.(2014)
• Laboratory testing against E-coli, faecal coliforms, faecal Streptococci and total coliforms. Conducted by Water Quality Laboratory Gaborone, Botswana. Department of Water Affairs (2013)
• Field trials were conducted by UN-habitat (2008) to assessing the effectiveness of Solvatten in Kathmandu, Nepal
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