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Finishing touches to solar water distiller

February 26, 2020 — BarryK

Today finished off construction of the latest solar water distiller, intended to be put together as DIY plans. The previous post is here:

I am using a piece of 3mm window glass, not low-iron, just ordinary window glass, as used in my tilted-wick prototype:

...that glass is 572x672mm.

The wood frame of the latest distiller is sized such that the glass only overlaps about 10mm onto the frame, the wood being 19mm thick. I purchased silicone foam strip for the glass to sit on:


...I ordered 3 metres of 5x10mm (second from left in above photo), at AU$7.22.

Note that some vendors on eBay have solid silicon strip, but I thought perhaps that would be too firm.

I ran a bead of white silicone sealant around the wood frame, for the strip to sit on, and placed a MDF sheet on top to hold the strip flat while the sealant set. Later, ran another bead around the inside, where the silicone strip meets the wood, so that no water can seep underneath the strip.

Then there is the question of some kind of brackets to hold the glass in placed, firmly pressed against the foam strip. There are various ways that the brackets can be designed, what I did was buy 1 metre of this, at AU$7.40:


...I marked out 25mm lengths, and holes suitable for inserting 6G wood screws, then used a hacksaw to cut off the bottom flange, then each 25mm length. Tidied up with a file.

I bought a packet of wood dowels, 38mm long, 10mm diameter, 50 pack. Prestige brand at Bunnings. Oh, I see, don't seem to be stocked anymore, but these slightly smaller one should be OK, at AU$2.80:

Um, the "Tools" section of Bunnings does have these, more expensive brand:

I cut some of the dowels in half, length-wise, and this is what the final bracket looks like:


...notice that the screw is at a slight angle, not 90 degrees to the wood surface.

And after installing all of the brackets:


Almost finished! Now for the water inlet and outlet...

For the water inlet, I purchased a funnel from Supercheapauto. This is designed for automative use, and has a removable filter, and an adaptor for plastic pipe, at AU$9.99: came with a short length of pipe, however, I attached my silicone tube. The adaptor looked like suited for 9mm plastic pipe, so what I did was glue a 13mm trickle end-plug onto the adaptor.

I have posted about doing this kind of operation before. It requires special plastic-bonding glue. I use Selleys All Plastic Fix, at AU$8.35:

And the end-plug is a Holman's brand:

So that you can see how it is done, see this link:

And here it is all in place:


For the water outlet, I just used a cheap 13mm inline tap from Bunnings, at AU$3.97:


Shopping list, prices in AU Dollars:

Glass, 3mm, 572x672mm

Silicone foam strip, 5x10mm, 3m
Aluminium sail-track extrusion, 1m
Wood dowels, 8x32mm, 50 pk
Plastic funnel, with pipe adaptor
Plastic bonding glue
End plug, 13mm (Holman)
Inline tap, 13mm, plastic

Now I need to wait for a nice sunny day... 

Tags: nomad