Solar-powered ‘Desolenator’ launched to disrupt global water crisis

A British cleantech company has started a crowdfunding campaign to help launch a product which it claims can provide one billion people with water using only the power of the sun.

The ‘Desolenator’ transforms seawater into pure distilled water without any other inputs, and lasts for up to 20 years.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched for the Desolenator on 30 November at Indiegogo, looking for $150k to “accelerate the product development process and help us move from our current prototype to a finished product ready for mass production.”

After one day, the technology had attracted 61 separate contributors and 22% of its target investment.

Water crisis

With half of the world’s population expected be living in water-stressed areas by 2030, the Desolenator could play an important part in mitgating the impacts of climate change.

CEO William Janssen explained: “Climate change and population growth are setting the stage for a global water crisis. A massive 97% of the world’s water is salt water and our plan is to tap into this valuable and available resource to disrupt the global water crisis in an unprecedented way. 

“The process is called desalination and today whilst 0.7% of the world’s water comes from desalination, existing technology is expensive, inefficient and disproportionally drains 0.5% of the world’s global energy supply.

“Desolenator is different from existing desalination and home water technologies – it harnesses solar power in an elegant new way, maximising the amount of solar radiation that hits the technologies surface area through a combination of thermal, electrical and heat exchange, creating pure clean drinking water through the power of the sun.”


One major concern for the product is its expense. Each Desolenator costs $650, which the company admits is expensive for its target ‘base of pyramid’ customers.

The firm says it is looking at various business models including micro-financing and shared ownership.

“Our first systems will be embedded with remote monitoring capabilities so that end users will be able to only pay a small amount on a pay per use basis and also we can keep an eye on maintenance and servicing needs,” it said.

“There is not an easy answer to this but we are looking at all options to get Desolenators to families that need them most and in a way that is affordable.”

Brad Allen

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