U.S. Water News Online
SWEET HOME, Ore. — As president of Sol-Win, Inc. Janet Quinn dreams of water, specifically portable purified waters.
Quinn is trying to mass produce a portable, solar-powered water purification system that could be used for disaster relief or medical care in remote areas to people such as herself who live "off the grid".
So far, only two units have been produced, but Quinn is now ready to take a limited number of orders for hand-built models that will be constructed at Mega Tech near Corvallis.
Quinn purchased the licensing rights for the product in 2004. In 2005, Linn-Benton Community College put her in touch with a group of former Hewlett-Packard engineers, who have helped her develop and refine the unit.
The system can process up to 50 gallons of fresh drinking water per day from a pond, stream or other sources. It produces one gallon of fresh water from every four gallons of raw water. The unit can hold up to five gallons of processed water, or it can be run continuously to fill larger storage tanks.
"The entire unit uses off-the-shelf technology and supplies such as filters," Quinn said. "The filters are similar to those found in hot tubs."
Quinn said the unit can be powered by a 102 watt single panel solar unit, plugged into a conventional wall socket, or generator or attached to either a wind- or water-powered turbine. The power is stored in one or two deep cycle marine-style batteries.
Quinn sees her efforts as a humanitarian project.
"It's not just something for third-world countries," Quinn said. "I have neighbors who live on the South Santiam River who could use the units because power goes off there quite often or they have substandard drinking water."
Initial models will cost about $15,000, Quinn said. But over time, she sees that price dropping through mass production efficiencies.
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