The Role of Solar Power in Water Purification

As solar energy becomes more advanced, we’ve discovered new applications for the technology. These systems are the way forward for clean power — but they can also help with water purification. From city centers to rural villages, we can use solar-powered devices in various places to generate more sterile water for the masses.

What Are Solar Power’s Current Uses?

Historically, solar power has strictly been used to generate electricity for buildings. Through photovoltaic (PV) cells in solar panels, you can harness the sun’s rays to create power. It’s a clean and renewable way to supply energy that people have used for several years. However, you can also use solar power to heat a water supply.

These systems aren’t too popular in the United States — but more people have begun to use solar power to heat their water sources. That’s possible via storage tanks and solar collectors that work in two different ways, called active and passive. If you generate both electricity and heat with solar power, you can run your house entirely through the sun.

Now, researchers have found yet another application of solar energy – purification of water.

How Solar-Powered Water Purification Works?

Did you know that more than 2 billion people don’t have access to safely managed water sources? This situation means they can’t utilize clean water for cleaning, drinking, and other purposes that many people take for granted.

Though some answers already exist, like portable water filters, we can use solar-powered water purification systems to reach more communities.


Because the sun can shine everywhere, you can use solar power virtually anywhere, from the desert to the jungle and beyond. That’s ideal for remote villages in places like South America and Africa. It’s equally beneficial for large cities with water contamination issues, which happens more often than many people realize.

Usually, solar-powered water purifiers work through a reverse osmosis system. There are solar panels that supply electricity to a set of batteries, which run a motor that filters the water. After the filtration process, the clean water flows through a hose to an accessible source.

It’s possible to make the purification systems portable when you build them on bases with wheels. This mobility opens doors for communities that don’t have the infrastructure to handle a permanent, full-blown water purification system. Plus, you can move the devices between various locations, which helps in disaster-relief scenarios.

There may also be applications for boiler and cooling setups on larger scales. If you can consistently keep water towers in working order, you won’t have to handle transition failures and other potential issues. There’s a lot involved in testing and maintaining water quality levels, so solar power may be able to simplify processes further through straightforward filtration. This situation could become more feasible in the next few years.

Solar Power and Water Purification: What’s Next?

Presently, you won’t find solar-powered water purifiers everywhere. These gadgets are still in development in most areas, even though they’ve certainly already helped communities gain access to clean water sources. Hurdles exist in assembly and distribution, as researchers still need to find ways to make the devices inexpensive and accessible on a large scale.


Besides the obvious benefits like drinking and cleaning, we can experience other advantages when combining solar power and water purification. There are job opportunities since operators are needed to run the systems. Plus, communities will be much healthier in the long run, as they’ll have direct access to clean water and won’t be inclined to drink soda or juice.

As technology advances, we’ll be able to achieve numerous applications around the world.

Solar Power Makes a Difference in Water Purification

If we’re to find ways to generate clean water for all kinds of communities, we need to focus on reliable, attainable, and cost-effective options. It seems like solar power may be our best bet, as purification systems operating via the sun can work anytime, anywhere.

These devices have already made life much easier globally — and the future currently looks just as promising.

Jane Marsh
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