Containerised solar power station for water purification

Fun facts, there are approximately 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth, 70% of the planet is covered in ocean, and 98% of that water on the planet is in the ocean. Only about 2% of the water on the planet is fresh, but 1.6% of it is locked up in polar ice and glaciers, and another 0.36% is found underground in aquifers and wells. Only about 0.036% of the planet’s total water supply is found in lake and rivers.

water purification for a school in northern kenya

Other not so fun facts, around the world 785 million people don’t have clean water close to home (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2019), 31% of schools don’t have clean water (JMP (2018) Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools; Global baseline report) and every minute a newborn dies from infection caused by lack of safe water and an unclean environment (WHO, 2015).

primary school el molo

So, when we were approached to design an energy system to power a desalination plant to provide clean and safe water to a school in Kenya, we practically said yes before they finished asking the question.

Desolenator is a patented solar powered desalination technology that enables even the most remote of communities to be water independent.


Our challenge was to develop a portable plant room to accommodate all of the desalination equipment as well as the renewable energy equipment, such as batteries, power management and monitoring, and of course solar panels and frame. Our plant room had to be able to protect this equipment from the high north western Kenyan temperatures, as well as from the dust, and theft and neglect. It had to be pre-wired so the installation on site would be as easy as drop and plug in. It had to be cost-effective, easy to ship, provide a clean and safe working environment, not mentioning reliable, easy to operate and maintain.

Good job we like a challenge! Find out what we have come up with in our next update.

containerised solar energy system for water purification

Note: why a desalination plant in north western Kenya you may ask, it’s not by the sea? Well technically yes, as the school this this is going to is located next to the world’s largest permanent desert lake and world’s largest alkaline lake, and the world’s fourth largest salt lake. Its waters are slightly brackish and contain high levels of fluoride.


Credits: How Stuff Works, Water Aid, Wikipedia

You know here in the desert, water is life

Catherine, head teacher

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