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This $4 solar desalination system can provide clean drinking water for a family

The boffins at MIT have come up with a super low cost desalination plant which they say will deliver continuous clean water to a family. What makes it special is the fact that it doesn’t get clogged up by salt residues, which means it stays operative after long periods of use without cleaning. The trick? Using a non-wick system which instead uses 2.5 cm holes which don’t get clogged up with salt. As you’ll realise from the price, the unit also shys away from using expensive materials to do its magic, and what’s more it’s 80% efficient at converting solar energy into water vapour from salt water. What’s more, it can run for weeks without fouling. The bad news is the team have only made this work on a bench scale, so they don’t know if it can be scaled up to family size units. Yet another wizard product that will probably never see the light of day. Sigh. [Via]

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