Amongst the cream of the crop of the Lexus Design Award 2021 is Henry Glogau’s ingenious contraption: a skylight that uses free sources of energy to light homes at night and distill seawater into safe drinking water.
This no-cost, clean energy solution can provide basic services for impoverished communities. The Solar Desalination Skylight works by evaporating seawater through the energy of the sun. During the day, seawater is fed through a pipe into the bowl-shaped skylight where solar power is used to distill the salty seawater. The skylight has a tap at the base of it to extract drinking water.
After the sun goes down, the residual brine left from the water purification process is used to generate an electrical charge to power the light.
There is a community in Antofagasta, Chile, where this brilliant invention is already being used. The design is affordable, practical, and takes advantage of free and clean energy sources.
Scaling the solution could have a great impact on underprivileged communities across the world, who still don’t have adequate access to clean drinking water.