ABSTRACT Water is essential to life. The origin and continuation of mankind is based on water. The supply of drinking water is an important problem for the developing countries. Among the non-conventional methods to desalinate brackish water or seawater, is solar distillation. The solar still is the most economical way to accomplish this objective. Tamilnadu lies in the high solar radiation band and the vast solar potential can be utilized to convert saline water to potable water. The sun’s energy heats water to the point of evaporation. When water evaporates, water vapour rises leaving the impurities like salts, heavy metals and condensate on the underside of the glass cover. Sunlight has the advantage of zero fuel cost but it requires more space and generally more equipment. Solar distillation has low yield, but safe and pure supplies of water in remote areas. In this context, the design modification of a single basin solar still has been discussed to improve the solar still performance through increasing the production rate of distilled water. The attempts are also made to increase the productivity of water by using different absorbing materials, depths of water, heat storage medium and also by providing low pressure inside the still basin. They greatly improve the rate of evaporation and hence the rate of condensation on the cooler surface. The theoretical results agree well with the experimental ones.
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