55 gallon drum solar water still

From Appropedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
55 gallon drum solar water still
Description Step by step instructions for how to build a solar water condenser out of a large drum/barrel. Also has step by step instructions for how to build a solar water condenser that is left unattended for extended periods of time.
Intended use Supplying clean potable water
Keywords water, clean water, potable water, solar, thermal, condenser, still
Documentation language English
Appropedia user Apatten
Project status design
Project was made No
Date of publication 2008/02/03
Main materials large drum/container, white and black paint, cutting tool, glass/metal sheet, wool, sand, or dirt, fabric
SDG Sustainable Development Goal 6, Sustainable Development Goal 9, Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Development Goal 12

Solar Water Condenser[edit]

For anyone with clean water issues a solar condenser is a viable small scale potable water option.

1. Make or clean out a suitable container. If it contained oil light a fire to burn out any residue.


If the top is still on remove it.




Cooling is caused by evaporation on the top of the condenser plate. Clean water forms on the bottom of the condenser plate due to a temperature difference; i.e. cold on top and warm on bottom.


If you would like to leave unattended for extended times:

1. Replace the glass with heavy gage sheet metal. 2. Drill or cut holes in the top reflector.


Find a smaller container. ( 5 - 10 gallon )

3. Cut the top from a smaller container and drill or cut holes in the in the bottom. 4. Paint white or wrap with tin foil.


5. Place on first container, then place fabric filter; add sand and fill with mud; replace lid.