Water Sterilization System for High Sunlight Environments

The Laguna Beach High School InvenTeam invented a water sterilization system for use in areas that have abundant sunshine but unsafe drinking water. Solar Irradiation of Peroxide System (SIPS) is designed to provide 40-liters of clean drinking water per day. SIPS was designed for use at the Oloolaimutia Elementary School in Maasai Mara, Kenya. SIPS consists of two parts: a solar sterilizer which uses a parabolic reflector to irradiate contaminated water containing hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 10 ppm, and a peroxide generator which produces hydrogen peroxide for use in the solar sterilizer. When sunlight intensity is high, the solar sterilizer is able to eliminate 100% of contaminating E. coli bacteria in less than five minutes of irradiation. The solar sterilizer was constructed with a modular design, allowing for easy breakdown and set-up and fits inside a 28” x 18” x 10” carrying container. The sterilizer prototype requires four hours of direct sunlight to sterilize 40 L of water in 1 L batches. The peroxide generator prototype uses solar energy to activate a photocatalyst, anthraquinone, which are immobilized on silica plates. The catalyst can be used repeatedly to produce up to 1 gallon of hydrogen peroxide per day. This is sufficient to sterilize 100 L of water using the solar sterilizer. Watch their 2015 EurekaFest Video