100% autonomous and sustainable drinking water production
The Helio system was developed by Helio Water, a subsidiary of Marine Tech, an SME expert in developing innovative, environmentally friendly technologies. Helio transforms all water into drinking water, even unsafe or salty water. It is powered solely by the sun, a renewable, inexhaustible and free energy source. The system is autonomous, sustainable, cost-effective and aims to provide safe drinking water to communities and remote areas such as villages and refugee camps that currently lack this vital resource. It can also be used to provide drinking water in emergency situations when the existing water supply is damaged, for example, after natural disasters like earthquakes or in times of war.
Helio is a PMMA sphere divided into two parts by a special filter. Seawater or wastewater is pumped directly from the source, then rises to the top of the globe and evaporates under the sun’s heat. It then condenses when it comes into contact with the walls of the Helio, flows back down through the filter and is stored in the bottom tank, which is connected to an outlet to allow access to the drinking water. The high temperature in the dome (100 °C) destroys germs and bacteria before storing the purified water at the bottom of the module. The system produces pure water that can be consumed straight away. For those who prefer mineral water, an optional (re)mineralisation kit, made up of natural elements such as calcium and magnesium, is available.
A self-sufficient, green solution
The Helio system is easy to transport in a carry case and is quick and straightforward to install (2 hours). However, there are a few prerequisites: you need a flat plot of land, a sufficient amount of sunlight and, most importantly, access to a water source to be treated, be that seawater, river water, rainwater or water from a well or borehole. A one cubic metre dome will provide enough drinking water for a family of 5, producing up to 10 litres a day with 6 to 8 hours of sunshine. When used as part of a drinking water “farm”, these spheres can produce hundreds or even thousands of litres of water. Designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, each sphere has a lifespan of thirty years and requires no maintenance or replacement of parts.
Helio is the result of over six years of research supported by the French government and the European Union. It was launched six months ago, and to date, individual spheres and sphere “farms” have already been installed in Oman, Polynesia, Miami and the south of France. Numerous other projects are underway, and the Helio solution should soon be installed in Masdar City, Mauritius and Madagascar. In Madagascar, 25% of deaths among children under 5 are attributable to a lack of safe drinking water, and the installation of 20 modules in a school should enable 600 pupils to quench their thirst from the tap safely.
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