Portable Solar Water Purification System for Public Use during Disaster Recovery

EPA Grant Number: SU835290
Title: Portable Solar Water Purification System for Public Use during Disaster Recovery
Investigators: Tang, Yan , Camp, Johnathon , Fennesy, Kyle , Compere, Marc , Fugler, Mark , Pinto, Shavin , Wong, Yung
Current Investigators: Tang, Yan , Compere, Marc , Wong, Yung , Pinto, Shavin , Solorzano, Geovanni
Institution: Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: II
Project Period: August 15, 2012 through August 14, 2014 (Extended to August 14, 2015)
Project Amount: $89,944
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2012) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality , P3 Challenge Area - Safe and Sustainable Water Resources , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


Clean drinking water after a disaster is critical because the water infrastructure may have very well been compromised. Currently, bottled water is trucked in for the victims of the disaster but the road infrastructure may have been damaged as well. During Phase I, the team developed the first prototype of a solar powered water purification backpack for use in post disaster response. During Phase II, the team’s objective will be to improve on this design to reduce weight, and cost as well as increase efficiency. The team will also apply for a patent on the AquaPack and create a business to manufacture and sell the systems to interested parties.


The team will improve the system to a level ready to be manufactured. They will utilize principles developed from design for manufacturing courses as well as industrial partners to accomplish this. The team will also apply for a patent and create a small company to manufacture the final product to interested parties. Furthermore, the team plans on designing alternatives and add-ons to the AquaPack to adapt to different environments and needs of the system.

Expected Results:

The system is engineered to provide half a gallon of clean water to 750-1000 people per day in a disaster zone, or 500 gallons of water per day. We will be looking into selling these systems to disaster relief organizations as well as the military who have shown an interest in the system. We would also like to sell the systems to the general public, such as those who live off grid or who would benefit from the use of a solar water purification backpack.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 4 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Solar, Filtration, Sustainability, Green Business, Health, Membrane Filtration

Relevant Websites:

Phase 1 Abstract

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • P3 Phase I:

    Portable Solar Water Purification System for Public Use during Disaster Recovery  | Final Report