LillyPad – A solar power floating water purifier
Beaverton-based Puralytics had earned a fame for its solar powered water purifier called SolarBag. The invention received a warm welcome in third world countries where clean drinking water is scarce. Already, about 60 countries are being benefited from SolarBag.
However, the engineers are now looking to capture commercial market with bigger equipment with larger water-cleaning capability. The man made ponds, natural lakes, catchment area, construction waste water, agriculture water etc. could be easily treated to deal with contaminants, micro-bacteria, and toxins.
The inventors at Puralytics have developed its previous technology into a commercial product; Lillypad, a solar powered floating water purifier. It wouldn’t have been a easy task to initiate the process of further development without funds ($94,000) from Oregon Best, which works to direct research revenue from multiple sources to companies in the state. The developer was also assisted by Oregon State University.
Tyler Radniecki, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at OSU explained the purpose of Lillypad:
The LillyPads are designed to float on the water surface. We did some lab tests with (collected) stormwater and found that four inches of standing water is the ideal depth. (The facility) has all the bells and whistles as far as monitoring. We can measure water flow, sunlight.(The LilyPad) is designed for more than one-time use, so we’ll (also) be looking at how long they last, how leaf debris that falls on top of it affects it.
Lillypad is in its second phase of development that includes a crucial testing that will take place at OSU-Benton County Green Stormwater Research Facility. There are many other issue which still need to be addressed. One of them is how to deal with falling leaf debris, which will cover the photovoltaics, hence, halting the supply of sunlight. Also, the durability and lifespan of this floating water purifiers require more study.
If the inventors are Puralytics could qualify all the tests and challenges, they’ll likely to fetch an insane amount of money from the commercial market.