Designer Creates Solar Desalination Skylight as Low-Tech Way to Produce Drinking Water

Designer Creates Solar Desalination Skylight as Low-Tech Way to Produce Drinking Water

The Solar Desalination Skylight by Henry Glogau. (Photo: Henry Glogau Studio)

Fresh, clean drinking water is essential. Many communities around the world already suffer from a lack of clean drinking water. Resource scarcity is also a significant impending challenge of climate change. To help combat this, New Zealand architect Henry Glogau has designed Solar Desalination Skylight, a beautiful and functional light fixture which transforms seawater into clean drinking water.

Glogau, who works at 3XN‘s innovation unit in Copenhagen, Denmark, collaborated with the Chilean NGO TECHO to create the skylight specifically for a coastal community of Mejillones, Chile, known as “Nueva Esperanza.” Mounted on the ceiling, the lamp is illuminated by LED bulbs. The bulbs are powered by a solar panel which charges during the day, as well as salt batteries created by evaporating seawater. The seawater is pumped into the light through a small tube. The water trickles through elegant channels where evaporation separates the salt. The lamp produces 440 ml of clean water a day.

The skylight won the Design Educate Awards' “Responsive Design” category. Input from the Nueva Esperanza community was solicited during development. Designers and the community brainstormed how to create similar systems with available plastic bottles, cans, knives and tape. Close to the sea and with ample sunlight, the community is well-positioned to capitalize on these sustainable resources. Design is an important way to meet the resource challenges of today and tomorrow.

To see more of Glogau's work, check out his studio website.

Architect Henry Glogau created Solar Desalination Skylight, which illuminates a room while transforming seawater into fresh drinking water.

Henry Glogau Studio

The design process. (Photo:
Henry Glogau Studio)

The elegant design is an innovative way to meet the resource challenges of today and tomorrow.

Solar Desalination Light

The skylight is functional and beautiful. (Photo: Henry Glogau Studio)

h/t: [Designboom]

Henry Glogau Studio: Website | Instagram

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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