Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Marc D. Compere, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Yan Tang, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Rafael Rodriguez, MSME.


This thesis presents the design and development of solar powered water purification systems. The systems were designed to meet specific customer requirements that were established from the experiences gained after the installation of five water purification systems in various Haitian communities. The systems are scalable and are able to supply 10,000-20,000 gallons of clean drinking water per day. The design consists of a three-stage filtration system with a disc-type sediment filter, a 0.1 micron ultrafiltration membrane, and an ultraviolet light for disinfection. The backwash cycle extends the life of the ultrafiltration membrane to 4-7 years before a new filter is required. Simplicity in operation was an important design consideration because it facilitates local operator training, and understanding. To ensure complete understanding of operation, a pictorial quick-start manual was developed so that operators only need to follow the diagrams laid out on the manual. The design folder with CAD drawings, schematics, datasheets, and troubleshooting guide are left with the local operators. Testing before shipping and after installation to ensure proper operation upon installation. On-site water quality testing ensures the system will promote improved community health.