Simple Continuous-Flow Device for Combined Solar Thermal Pasteurization and Solar Disinfection for Water Sterilization

  • Anthony Amsberry Oregon State University
  • Clayton Tyler Oregon State University
  • William Steinhauff Oregon State University
  • Justin Pommerenck Oregon State University
  • Alexandré T. F. Yokochi Oregon State University
Keywords: Rural water sanitization, SOPAS, SODIS, solar thermal pasteurizationp, drinking water


A collection unit and reflective concentrators were used to thermally preheat water to at least 70 °C for thermal pasteurization prior to a solar disinfection stage. The device is offered as a novel combined cycle to be used for either solar thermal pasteurization, during seasonalpeaks in solar irradiation, or as a solar preheat for UV solar disinfection which would occur in a flow-through solar disinfection trough. Inexpensive materials were used in order to simulate in field functionality and applicability to rural regions with low solar input. Solar incidence at Oregon State University, with latitude 45.5°, was recorded during trials conducted during May 1 to June 10 for the purpose of directly scaling the water treatment volumetric flowrate of the device for any future tests in other locations. This scaling by solar irradiation makes this dataset useful for other locations with higher or lower solar input and needing more or less treated water. The simple gravity-fed continuous system presented in this article makes use of a large cold water reservoir, a shell-and-tube heat exchanger, and a solar collector. The system, operating at flowrates of 100-150 mL/min is able to reach outlet temperatures of 74°C.  The system is projected to produce 55 L of purified water daily when operating on a sunny day with peak UV radiation above 700 W/m2. System cost was $55 with an added optional $15 for the shell-and-tube heat exchanger.