11 Ingenious Solar Projects Impacting the Developing World

Solar Projects for the Developing World


1. Eliodomestico Solar Still

Industrial designer Gabriele Diamanti created this award-winning solar household still for developing countries with limited or no access to fresh drinking water. It works somewhat like an upside-down coffee maker: You pour seawater through the opening at the top, and the sun heats it during the day. The pressure forces steam through the nozzle leading to a watertight boiler, and condenses against the lid.

The Eliodomestico provides up to 5 liters of water a day, and because the sun does all the work, there are no operating costs. The still is even made entirely of inexpensive, widely available materials.

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It’s easy to take energy for granted, forgetting that throughout much of the world, a lack of power affects everything from business to education to matters of life and death. Approximately 1.5 billion people still don’t have access to electricity worldwide, with an additional 1 billion having only intermittent access.By using the power of the sun — the ultimate natural resource — these issues can be ameliorated, if not solved. Scientists, social entrepreneurs and even big tech companies are working to make strides with solar power.

The gallery above highlights some of the coolest and most innovative solar projects out there today. Whether it’s simple lanterns with solar panels at the top, large stills that turn steam into drinking water or even artificial leaves that mimic photosynthesis, you’ll be amazed what the sun can do.

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Image: Gabriele Diamanti


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