Over 750 million people in the world lack access to clean water. In Ghana, the figures are crazy. Over 35% of the population have no access to clean water while over 20% of the population rely on surface water to meet their daily water demand, leaving them vulnerable to water-related diseases.
Seventy percent of all diseases in Ghana are caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.
Consequently, those living in poverty often pay up to ten times more per liter for water service from private vendors than their middle-class counterparts connected to piped water services due to the high cost of transportation in such communities. Also, the majority of households without access to clean water also lack access to clean energy. In some deprived communities, there is no access of electricity which has greatly hindered the development and well-being of the residents for many years.
To address this problem, a renewable energy team from the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Ghana embarked on a project to provide clean water while providing free electrical energy for people in the deprived communities.
The team [Marino Danzerl, Raphael Fuachie Sarpong and Kofi Afriyie Santuoh] relied on the free energy from the sun to create a Solar Powered Ultraviolet Water Purification System. The solar powered purification system employs UV-LED technology to disinfects and purifies the water.
The system is mobile and compact making it extremely useful for off-grid and for emergency situations.
The solar panel charge the on-board battery which powers the pump and the UV disinfection system. Pre-filters are included to remove sediments and freshen the water prior to disinfection with UV light.
The system is very simple to operate and maintain. Filter changes are quick and easy and the UV lamp is good for a whole year of use. There is a convenient power outlet for optional auxiliary appliances such as LED bulbs and charging of mobile phones.
The project presents a relief for millions of people in deprived areas that have challenges accessing clean water.