Device Creates Light and Water Using Clean Energy

Brilliant no-cost desalinating skylight is a finalist in the Lexus Design Award 2021.

Amongst the cream of the crop at this year's Lexus Design Awards is Henry Glogau’s ingenious contraption: a skylight that uses free sources of energy to light homes at night and distill seawater into safe drinking water.


This no-cost, clean energy solution can provide basic services for impoverished communities. The Solar Desalination Skylight works by evaporating seawater through the energy of the sun. During the day, seawater is fed through a pipe into the bowl-shaped skylight where solar power is used to distill the salty seawater. The skylight has a tap at the base of it to extract drinking water.


After the sun goes down, the residual brine left from the water purification process is used to generate an electrical charge to power the light.


Glogau's design is cheap, practical and expertly makes use of abundant resources to tackle two key issues faced by inhabitants of campamentos, or shantytowns, in places like Antofagasta, Chile, where the technology is already being used by inhabitants.


Glogau’s Solar Desalination Skylight aligns perfectly with the awards' principles of designing and engineering a better future. Whether his design wins or not, Glogau's device is already having a great impact on communities.

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