Some of the Scientist at MIT have now developed up with a device which they say soaks up enough heat from the sun to boil water and produce steam hotter than 100 degrees Celsius without any of the expensive optics. The device is designed to be suspended over the water, to avoid any of the possible contamination according to the study which has been revealed. This device is about the size and thickness of a small digital tablet and is structured like a sandwich said the MIT students in the US.
The top layer is mainly made from a material which is efficiently absorbing the sun heat while the bottom layer emits that heat to the water which is at the bottom. Once the water reaches the boiling point 100 degrees Celsius, it releases steam that rises back up into the device, where it is funneled through the middle layer.
“It’s a completely passive system — you just leave it outside to absorb sunlight,” said Thomas Cooper, assistant professor at York University, who led the work as a postdoc at MIT. “You could scale this up to something that could be used in remote climates to generate enough drinking water for a family, or sterilize equipment for one operating room,” Cooper said.
The device is structured to absorb the short wavelength solar energy which also, in turn, heats the device which even causes it to reradiate this heat, in the form of longer wavelength infrared radiation to the water below. The researchers also note that the infrared wavelengths are absorbed by water, versus solar wavelengths which would also pass right through.
“It’s this clever engineering of different materials and how they’re arranged that allows us to achieve reasonably high efficiencies with this non-contact arrangement,” Cooper said.