The history of the discovery
About eighteen years ago, I had lost much to the economy. I made a decision that I would go about life differently. In that I would take some land outside of town and start from scratch. I put in my own solar power, found a couple of manufactured homes and decided to drill a well. I borrowed some drilling equipment and started the well. Fourteen feet down I hit water, after I had cased the well I pumped some out and took a mouth full of what turned out to be the saltiest water I had ever put in my mouth.
I had felt inspired to move to this land, I was puzzled because of the fact, I felt so inspired to move here, and I knew I could not grow gardens and raise some animals without a good supply of fresh water. I looked into and purchased a reverse osmosis unit for around $10,000, and a 15,000 watt generator to run it. My modest solar system was simply to small and would require a field of PV panels to run it, so the generator was my only option. What I learned from this costly mistake, was that the fuel to run the generator was more expensive than hauling water in. And the rejected highly concentrated salt water, just simply could not be pumped back onto my land without destroying it. It’s flow was much bigger than the tiny stream of filtered water. It would have produced about 1,000 gallons in 24 hours. But because of the high salt content it did not remove all of the salts. It quickly became my white elephant.
After spending much time and study on solutions to my nemesis, the salt water well, I had tried the best solar still designs, read countless papers on solar distillation, talked with professor’s and technician’s on water, looked at home distiller dot something, water dot something and, countless other sites full of useless solutions for what is needed for real life survival, I was dot orged to no end, I found nothing but dead ends on producing the water I needed to grow a garden, let alone have enough for home use. Hauling in water was out of the question for gardening and raising animals. So I decided to no longer look towards academia, and seek a higher power for answers. I simply knew there must be answers to this problem because I knew I was lead here for a reason.
When there is nowhere to turn, and believe me, I put in my part, I asked the creator a simple question, “how can I grow a garden with what I had been blessed with?”. What I got that very same night was a dream in which I awoke at about 3:AM, so I wrote down the design and began to use the semi truck tires I gathered for another project. The result, I was using the tires for stills, and each tire supplied one plant with all the fresh water it needed, and this with out much work, it was all automated by using a small bladder 12 volt RV pump that could handle the corrosive water.
One day after my garden was flooded by a river bed about a mile away that was almost always dry, I was looking at my tire stills and realized they were a one of a kind. And they had no size restrictions because of their unusual design. This design, I knew must be built on a large scale without question, so I purchased a cement mixer and some pallets of cinder blocks and began to construct the worlds first single basin “large scale solar water still” in existence, on a smaller scale it worked so well. After I was producing as much as 30 US gallons per day I asked a question, what was keeping it from producing more, and how could I remedy that in it’s output? With in seconds I had my answer. I knew I could use the sun to boil the water and if I increased the collection surface it would produce much more. So because of it’s unique design, the naturally cooled surfaces could be increased exponentially. I now had all the answers I sought in my journey!
After the experiences of being a part of a well drilling project in Senegal west Africa that USAID had funded as a drilling school project in Matam, in east Senegal. I was at the welder and machine shop owners, helping the building of a design I had come up with from my experience drilling my own wells. The shop owner lived in Dakar near his shop in Senegal. He had to take a few days off during the build, he had just lost his young grandson to a water borne illness mid construction. Unfortunately this is a problem in all 3rd world countries. I later learned from water sites, that most hospital beds world wide are filled with patients suffering and dying from waterborne illness. This loss of the shop owners grandson hit home hard, because I have a son that was the same age. This and the droughts and the effects of supply chain troubles I have seen first hand here in central Utah as I went to purchase some bottled drinking water, absolutely every grocery store in town had none, and a week before they were limiting those cases of water to two per family. Adding this and the above reasons I am now bringing forth this book to the public at large. I am even bringing it to South East Asia, Central Africa and South Africa. And will work with others to make it available in all countries. After some time, I realized what I had just done, I had found the holy grail in water that had been sought for centuries, and that is, I had a solar still that was no longer limited to size, and because of the design change, I could add unlimited amounts of collection surfaces that allowed the natural air flow through the main chamber. And the final discovery was I could boil the water using a few photo voltaic solar panels to increase the output (direct hook). Because of the single basin, it could be flushed to prevent salt buildup using a simple timer. An enhanced system that was automated, could run 24/7 using a few extra photo voltaic panels, a bank of batteries to keep it running all night as well. There was a continuous flow of purified water from a small 2.5 x 2.5 x2.5 unit. Flow, not drip drip drip! This method can be learned from the book “The Flat Top Solar Electric Still” and seen in operation on the media page in a YouTube video.