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International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET)

Volume 6, Issue 11, Nov 2015, pp. 154-157, Article ID: IJMET_06_11_018
Available online at
ISSN Print: 0976-6340 and ISSN Online: 0976-6359
IAEME Publication


Sandeep Jain
MTech Scholar, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
SIRT Bhopal
Satish Prajapati
B.E. Scholar, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
AIST Sagar
The water and the energy are the two most essential things for the
sustaining of life. Only less the 1% water is available for the society for direct
use, out of which the maximum fraction has been polluted due to nonmanageable industrial developments. A solar still is a device which can solve
the problem of potable water without using the high grade energy .An
overview has been given in this paper of introduction to solar still with a view
to explain the principle and the mechanism of operation.
Key words: solar power, water distillation,
Cite this Article: Sandeep Jain and Satish Prajapati. Solar Distillation System.
International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, 6(11),
2015, pp. 154-157.
The water and the energy are the two most essential things for the sustaining of
life. Both are to be conserved for the sustainable development of the world. There is
an acute shortage of both energy and water, especially in the 3rd word countries.
Water and civilization are the two inseparable things. Water is a natures gift but
around 97% of the water in the world is in the ocean, approximately 2% of the water
in the world is at present stored as ice in polar region, and 1% is fresh water available
for the need of the plants, animals and human life. Water is the basic necessity for
human along with food and air. There is almost no waste left on Earth that is safe to
drink without purification Only 1% of Earth's water is in a fresh, liquid state, and
nearly all of this is polluted by both diseases and toxic chemicals. For this region,
purification of water supplies is extremely important.

1.1. Solar Still
Solar distillation has long been considered of making the impure water drinkable.
Solar distillation used the heat of the sun directly in a simple piece of equipment to


Sandeep Jain and Satish Prajapati

purify water. The equipment, commonly called a solar still, consists primarily of a
shallow basin with a transparent glass cover. The sun heats the water in the basin,
causing evaporation. Moisture rises, condenses on the cover and runs down into a
collection through, leaving behind the salts, minerals, and most other impurities,
including germs.
The first modern solar still ease built in las Salinas, Chile, in 1872, by Charles
Wilson to supply water (20000litters/day) to animals working mining operation.
Although solar distillation at present cannot complete with oil fired desalination
in large central plants, it will surely become a viable technology within, it next 100
years, when oil supplies will have approached exhaustion will be, Which method of
solar distillation is best? Meanwhile, almost anyone hauling drinking water any
distance would be economically better off using a solar still.

1.2. Needs Servedby Solar Still

Solar distillation is a cost-effective means of providing clean water fir direct and
indirect human consumption [four basic human needs (i.e. drinking, cooking,
washing, and bathing), industrial uses and green house cultivation).
1. It will improve health standards by removing impurities from water supplies.
2. It shall help complement the existing fresh water in locations where the
quality/quality of supply is deteriorating.
3. Where sea water is available, it can reduce the dependence on rain fall.
4. Solar stills, operating on sea or brackish water, shall ensure supplies of water during a
time of drought.

Distillation operates by the escape of moving molecules from the water surface into
the gases above it. Sensible heat is caused the movement of molecules zigzagging
about constantly, except that they are not all moving at the same speed. Further
addition of energy will make them to move further faster and a situation is reached
when the fastest moving ones escape the surface to become vapour.
It take a lot of energy for water to vaporize while certain amount of energy is
needed to raise the temp. of a kg of water from 00 to1000 C ,it takes five and one half
times that much to change it from figure of schematic dia. of double slope solar still.

Water at 1000C to water vapour. The salts and minerals do not evaporate along
with the water, so remains in the way we get fresh water in the clouds from the
oceans. It is not necessary for the water to actually boil to bring about distillation.


Solar Distillation System


1. GLAZING:- Should have high transmittance for solar radiation, opaque to
thermal radiation, resistance to abrasion, long life, low cost, high wettability for
water, lightweight, easy to handle and apply, and universal availability. Materials
used are: glass or treated plastic.
2. LINER: - Should absorb more solar radiation, should be durable, should be
water tight, easily cleanable, low cost, and should be able to withstand temperature
around 100C. Materials used are: asphalt matt, black butyl rubber, black
polyethylene etc.
3. SEALANT: - Should remain resilient at very low temperatures, low cost,
durable and easily applicable. Materials used are: putty, tars, tapes silicon, and
4. BASIN TRAY:-Should have long life, high resistance to corrosion and low
cost. Materials used are: wood, galvanized iron, steel, aluminum, asbestos cement,
masonry bricks, concrete, etc.
5. CONDENSATE CHANNEL:-Materials used are: aluminum, galvanized iron,
concrete, plastic material, etc.


1. Be easily assembled in the field.
2. Be constructed with locally available materials.
3. Be light weight for ease of handing and transportation.
4. Have an effective life of 10 to 20 years.
5. No requirement of any external power source.
6. Can also serve as a rainfall catchment surface.


5.1. Climatic Parameters

Solar radiation
Ambient temperature
Wind speed
outside humidity
Sky condition

5.2. Design Parameters


Single slope or double slope

Glazing material
Water depth in Basin
Bottom insulation
Space b/w water and glazing
Insulation of glazing

5.3. Operational Parameters

1. Water depth
2. Preheating of water


Sandeep Jain and Satish Prajapati

3. Coloring of water
4. Salinity of water
5. Rate of algae growth

1. The annual yield is at its maximum when the condensing glass cover inclination
is equal to the latitude of the place.
2. The yield is directly related to thermal conductivity of condensing cover
materials copper gives a greater yield compared to glass plastic due to higher thermal
3. The energy efficiency of double slope active solar still is higher than the energy
efficiency of double slope passive solar.

The global potable water demand increasing rapidly with increasing population
and industrialization depending upon various parameters discussed above no solar
stills is best fit for every condition. The solar still output (distillate) is a strong
function of solar radiation on a horizontal surface. The distillate output increases
linearly with the solar insolation for a given ambient temperature. If the ambient
temperature increases or the wind velocity decreases, the heat loss from solar still
decreases resulting in higher distillation rate. It is observed for each 10C rise in
ambient temperature the output increases by 10 percent.
The depth of water in the basin also effects the performance considerably. At
lower basin depths, the thermal capacity will be lower and hence the increase in water
temperature will be large resulting in higher output. However, it all depends on the
insulation of the still. If there is no insulation, increase in water temperature will also
increase the bottom heat loss. It has been observed that if the water depth increases
from 1.2 cm to 30 cm the output of still decreases by 30 percent.





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