Development of cost-effective solar water desalination unit for the arid regions of rural areas of Sindh
In this study we have designed and fabricated a household solar water desalination unit for the arid regions of rural areas of Sindh like Tharparkar district. Drought conditions, shortage of drinking water and relying on saline water in arid regions of Sindh is a serious problem. In areas under these tracts, it is difficult to obtain drinkable water. This study focuses on the development of a cost effective and affordable desalination unit having simple construction, easy to use, repair, maintain and can be operated by an unskilled man. The solar desalination unit comprises of a solar oven, condenser, and collector pot. In this research various water samples were collected from three arid regions of Tharparkar district i.e., Islamkot, Diplo and Mithi. The performance of solar water desalination unit was assessed by analysing the Total Dissolve Solids (TDS), pH and Electrical Conductivity (EC) of all samples. The sample collected, before treatment had maximum TDS, conductivity, and pH values as 10421 mg/L, 20842 μS/cm and 8 respectively. Those sample after treatment reduced to TDS of 230 mg/L, conductivity of 460 μS/cm and pH of 7.4. This portable solar desalination unit showed remarkable results and found as effective in the removal of TDS from all water samples. The efficiency of unit was calculated as 35.2% with maximum daily output of 5 litres. This unit was constructed at very low cost of PAKPKR 4500/- and its complete rely on solar energy which makes it quite affordable for those which cannot afford expensive treatment techniques. This unit has very minimal maintenance cost and does not require electricity. The values for pH, TDS, and EC achieved from this unit are satisfying the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for drinking water quality.