The SunSaluter is a dual-incentive passive solar tracking and water filtration system, which optimizes existing solar infrastructure by collecting up to 40% more energy and simultaneously providing clean drinking water. Solar tracking is achieved through balancing the weight on both ends of the solar panel. Controlled water flow adapts the balance of the solar panel, which is secured on a bamboo frame with a rotatable axis, to the direction of the solar radiation. The system is suitable for areas with near zenith angles of the sun, such as tropical and subtropical regions. The SunSaluter does not require electricity and can be manufactured from local materials for less than 40 USD.
As an add-on to the system, a filter unit constructed from either silver-coated ceramic or biosand is placed below the water container. Both ceramic and biosand filters trap up to 99.9% of contaminants and microorganisms in the filter pore (according to entrants) . Filter units can be locally procured for less than 10 USD.
Access to clean drinking water and electricity are important cornerstones in basic supply. Converting solar energy to electricity offers many benefits in terms of efficiency and sustainability, especially in areas with much sunlight and poor infrastructure regarding central power supply. One major deficiency of the panels currently in use is that they are installed statically and cannot follow the course of the sun. Although electric motors exist which can rotate the panels towards the sunlight, they require electricity, a high degree of maintenance and are expensive to install.
The SunSaluter aids impoverished communities in meeting their needs for both electricity and clean water. With this invention, a family can increase its access to electrity, as well as, to clean drinking water. The main parts of the SunSaluter can be constructed locally; the system is easy to install and at a price of under 40 USD for material costs, also single families can afford it. The SunSaluter is primarily suitable for small PV systems, generating electricity to charge phones, lighting or operating a small TV. This invention can replace other energy sources which can either be damaging, such as kerosene or filling lamps, or require long distances to be procured.