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Most of the developing countries are located near the equator, receiving more sunlight and rainfall than most other countries on the planet. Despite this abundance a large number of people living in these countries suffer from a lack of electricity and potable drinking water.

Building upon the designs of some existing rooftop water containers, we have created a simple device to collect both of these precious natural resources to meet the need for both electricity and drinking water.

PhotoFlow is a solar and rainwater collecting system composed of eight identical triangular photovoltaic modules that are mounted on commercial or custom water tanks. When assembling these together they form an octagon with a slight slope of 3 degrees, this allows water to funnel into the central filter. The water path then continues through a hose that directly goes into the water tank.

Each module is equipped with first-generation monocrystalline silicon solar cells covered with an antireflective adhesive which protects the photovoltaic semiconductor and minimizes the loss of light through reflection. The system integrates an N-type and P-type silicon layers. On top of the outer layer of the glass a Nano repellent film is applied to prevent dirt from obstructing light.

Each module has a lid at the end to allow easy access for cleaning, maintenance and part replacement.

The water tank is made of recycled polyethylene through rotational molding with a capacity of 400 liters. The inner layer of the tank is covered with a coating that controls the formation of bacteria and fungi to maintain the quality of potable drinking water.


Erick Saucedo
Agustín Otegui

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