If a natural disaster strikes, clean drinking water and emergency electricity can now be made readily available through the Solar Cube. The Solar Cube, a cooperative project by Spectra Watermakers, Inc., of San Rafael, Calif. and Trunz Metallchnik AG of Switzerland, is designed to be portable and assembled on site. The machine is powered by sunlight and wind and can provide up to 3,500 gallons of clean drinking water per day from polluted water or salt water — enough to sustain hundreds of families during a disaster. It can also provide enough energy for emergency disaster officials to power refrigeration for emergency medical supplies, keep a laptop on-line, or ensure that crisis communications equipment remains operational.
The Solar Cube works by placing a pump, which is attached to the machine, into a polluted water or salt water source. The water is pumped through a series of filters to remove large matter. At the final stage, the water is filtered through a reverse osmosis membrane, which is so fine that it dispels all bacteria, viruses, salts and dangerous chemicals. Power for the Solar Cube’s operation is generated by 24 volt batteries which are charged by both the integrated photovoltaic solar panels and a wind powered generator.
During the past year, the Solar Cube has been introduced into remote areas of Asia and South America. The Solar Cube provided drinking water and electrical power to several villages in Pakistan after the earthquake in 2005. Currently, the Solar Cube is being used in isolated villages in Venezuela and Pakistan.