Solar Bottle is winner of Index:2007 Award

October 01, 2007 - 10:06:30 PM

One sixth of the world's population has no access to safe drinking water, increasing their risk of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, Hepatitis A and dysentery.
When attending an exhibition under the theme “H2O” at Milan's International Furniture Fair, Meda and Paz learned about the SODIS system, a simple, low-cost solution for treating drinking water at a household level. Contaminated water is filled into transparent plastic bottles. When exposed to full sunlight for six hours, the pathogens in the water are destroyed.
Meda and Paz decided to design a container that brings the best out of the SODIS system, and the result is Solar Bottle, which has one transparent face for UV-A + infrared rays collection and one aluminium color to increase the reflections. The high ratio surface/thickness of the low cost four liter container improves the performance of solar disinfection and its flat shape makes it stackable and facilitates storage. A handle makes it possible to regulate the angle for best solar exposition and ensures easy transportation.

The award in the "Home" category was presented to Alberto Meda & Francisco Gomez Paz by Mr. Brian Mikkelsen, Minister for Culture in Denmark and Peter Lund, CEO of Royal Copenhagen.


Solar Bottle is a low cost container capable of disinfecting microbiologically contaminated raw water. Solar Bottle builds on SODIS, Solar water DisInfection System.
SODIS is a simple, environmentally sustainable, low-cost solution for drinking water treatment at a household level. Contaminated water is filled into transparent plastic bottles and exposed to full sunlight for six hours. During the exposure to the sun, the pathogens in the water are destroyed.

With Solar Bottle, designers have given an appropriate shape to the SODIS system.
The Solar Bottle is designed with a lot of thinking and experimenting. The form is instantly understandable and reconcilable. At the same time, the design is elegant and designed to please the user even when brought to use in an unpleasant situation. Solar Bottle is contemporary, iconic, self-evident and universal.

The bottle has a dual face: A transparent face for maximum UV-A ray collection and a reflective face to collect and reflect infrared sunrays augmenting the temperature and improving the disinfection power, as it is revealed from recent SODIS field tests.

The design ensures a bigger water capacity and at the same time cuts down on the time needed for purification. Solar Bottle is stackable and facilitates storage. The handle fulfils a dual purpose: It regulates the angle for best solar exposition and it ensures easy transportation on bike, by hand or on head. On the bottle, a series of iconic graphics explain the proper use of the system.

One sixth of the world's population has no access to safe water today.
The UN millennium goal is to halve this number by 2015. From 1990 to 2004, 1.2 billion people gained improved access to drinking water, but this was almost entirely offset by population growth. Some 4,500 children die every day from the consequences of unsafe water according to the WHO.

UN defines clean water as water from a pipe, public tap, borehole or similar. Solar Bottle does not provide these solutions, but carries the potential to improve the water situations radically, wile the world community struggles to find permanent solutions.
The improvement of SODIS, the low cost of the bottle and the instantly understandable design is part of this potential.

About 80 per cent of the people who do not have access to clean drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Asia and Southern Asia. Thus, the culture, the ethics and the values of these areas have to be addressed by the design.

On a detailed level, this is done brilliantly by the fact that the design is low cost, easily understandable in different cultures and easy to transport, carry, stack and use.
On the overall level, the biggest barrier towards a very wide use of the design is the distribution of Solar Bottle. Solar Bottles solves many problems which the ordinary soda bottles now used for the SODIS purification process does not solve, but Solar Bottle does not have the huge distribution that ordinary empty soda bottles have.

Therefore, it is the hope of the INDEX: jury that collaboration between Solar Bottle and a multinational soft drink provider or a non-profit organization can be established to ensure

Learn more about the 4 other winners of the INDEX:2007 Awards

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