By David Worthington
SmartPlanet, August 7, 2012
Big ideas can sometimes start small. Two industrial design students have designed a prototype portable solar water purification system that could save countless lives at a cost of just a few dollars per unit.
The bag is the brainchild of Ryan Lynch and partner Marcus Triest whose work was profiled by our CNET colleague Tim Hornyak on Sunday. Lynch’s solar bag is a very clever design that uses the sun’s UV rays to eliminate harmful biological contaminants.
Water is treated as UV rays pass through the bag’s translucent polyethylene outer layer; the inner lining is black to accelerate the filtration process with heat. Up to 2.5 gallons are made drinkable every six hours, according to its Web site. The overall design resembles a common messenger bag.
It is also as much functional as it is fashionable. The bag is inspired by “Ziploc” food storage products, and can be laid flat to expose water to more UV rays. The inventors say that the Solar Bag also dramatically improves upon the localized water purification standard of two days sub-saharan Africa.