...and produce electricity at the same time.
A team of researchers in Saudi Arabia have come up with a device that they say could transform an electricity plant from "a water consumer to a fresh-water producer."
The researchers' new device is still a prototype for now, but they envision it as a way to desalinate or purify water in places where fresh water is scarce or contaminated.
To build the prototype, the researchers installed a water distiller on the back of a solar cell. When in sunlight, the cell produces electricity and releases heat like a typical solar panel. But instead of sending that heat back into the atmosphere, the device directs it to the distiller, which uses the heat as an energy source to power the desalination process.
More than 2 billion people worldwide lack safe drinking water in their home, and the team behind this new device isn't the only group working on solar-powered water production. (source Business Insider)