Clean-Energy Skylight Makes Seawater Drinkable And Provides Free Light

Student: Jessica Yu | Uni: Jy3076

Sustainability Problem:

By 2050, it is predicted that 3 billion people will be living within informal settlements and 1 in 3 people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water . An informal settlement is housing that falls outside of government control or regulation. These communities are excluded from regular access to the benefits of urban development, including public services, infrastructure, public spaces and collective facilities. It’s clear that providing safe water for all is one of the most pressing problems in public health.

Technology Solution:

Designer Henry Glogau developed a no-cost lighting solution for homes in shantytowns – a skylight dubbed ‘Solar Desalination Skylight’ that provides free lighting and drinkable water.

  • The Solar Desalination Skylight works by evaporating seawater using heat from the sun. During the day, seawater trickles through a pipe into the bowl-shaped skylight. The salt and pollutants are removed and clean drinking water is extracting via a tap at the Skylight base.
  • At night, the remaining brine left over from the purification process generates an electrical charge to power a dim light.
  • As well as the functional performance, the desalinated water adds a morphing dappled effect that changes mood throughout the day, creating a soft ambiance for the living room space where family activities take place.



  • informal settlement communities in Antofagasta, Chile.
  • Local NGO (in this example TECHO)
  • Governments
  • Real estate developers


1.) Conduct research to understand the areas with the lowest-income household in the communities

2.) Ensure the areas of installation has sufficient enough sunlight and Seawater

3.) deploy community desalination workshops to educate how the installation would work



One thought on “Clean-Energy Skylight Makes Seawater Drinkable And Provides Free Light

  1. Wow this is a very innovative and useful technology that can be adopted quickly! It can purify 440 ml per day. The brine is placed in a tube with copper and zinc to basically make a battery. While the tech is not extremely advanced, it has the ability to solve serious water and electricity issues in these informal settlements around the world.


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