Performance Improvement of Solar Water Stills by Using Reflectors

  • Humphrey Hamusonde Maambo The University of Zambia
  • Isaac Simate The University of Zambia
Keywords: Distillation, Pathogenic Bacteria, Reflectors, Solar Energy, Solar Still


The lack of safe and clean drinking water sources is one of the problems faced in most rural communities in Zambia. Water in these communities is mostly obtained from shallow wells and rivers. However, this water might be potentially contaminated with harmful substances such as pathogenic bacteria and therefore, unsafe for drinking. Solar water distillation represents an important alternative to palliate problems of fresh water shortages. Solar water stills can be used to eliminate harmful substances from contaminated water by treating it using free solar energy before it can be consumed. Therefore, there is a need to improve solar still performance to produce a greater quantity of safe drinking water. One possible method to improve performance is through adding reflectors to solar stills. Reflectors improve performance by increasing the quantity of distillate by about 22.3 % at a water depth of 15 mm and about 2 9% at a water depth of 10 mm when compared to the distillate produced from a still without reflectors. The water produced using solar stills with reflectors was tested and adhered to World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water standards. This implies that solar distillation with reflectors could be adopted at a larger scale to produce safer drinking water at a reduced cost.

Author Biographies

Humphrey Hamusonde Maambo, The University of Zambia
Agricultural Engineering - Staff Development Fellow
Isaac Simate, The University of Zambia
Agricultural Engineering - Senior Lecturer


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