Headache-Free Device Makes Fresh Water with Solar Power


An Italian designer has created an ingenious solution to the fresh water problem that many people in the developing world face. It’s called Eliodomestico, a ceramic solar still designed by Gabriele Diamanti as a way to produce fresh water with a product that could be made locally. For his ingenious, open-source design, Gabriele received a special mention at the Well-Tech Award 2012 and won the Core77 Design Awards 2012 in the social impact category.

The simple design is the true winner here. It consists of two ceramic parts stacked together. Inside the top piece is a black container where the salt water goes. The sun heats the container and turns the water to steam. Pressure starts to build and the steam is forced down a tube into a container in the other, lower part. Therein the steam will condense against the lid and the basin of the container will collect it.

The system can collect just over a gallon of fresh water per day and it costs US$50 to manufacture. Since it requires no electricity – only free, clean solar power – it is free to run. As many people in the developing world tend to carry water containers in their head, the bottom basin was designed to fit around a person’s head comfortably.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.


  1. This is really cool! Simple items can have such a huge impact on the lives of many people. Often times we don’t realize how hard it is for people in developing countries to get the necessities that we take for granted everyday.

  2. This is first time i have came to knew about Eliodomestico…its definitely a rocking work.Being able to produce fresh water with a product that could be made locally is a wonderful achievement.Really happy to read about this system.