If a natural disaster strikes, clean drinking water and emergency electricity can now be made readily available through the Solar Cube. Completely portable and easily assembled on site, the device is powered by sunlight and wind, and can provide up to 3,500 gallons of clean drinking water per day from polluted water or salt water. It also can provide enough energy for emergency disaster officials to power refrigeration for emergency medical supplies, keep a laptop on-line, or ensure that crisis communications equipment remains operational.

The Solar Cube works by placing a pump, which is attached to the machine, into a polluted water or salt water source. The water is pumped through a series of filters to remove large matter. At the final stage, the water is filtered through a reverse osmosis membrane, which is so fine that it dispels all bacteria, viruses, salts and dangerous chemicals. Power for the unit’s operation is generated by 24-volt batteries, which are charged by both the integrated photovoltaic solar panels and a wind-powered generator. The system is said to have a service life of at least seven years.

During the past year, the Solar Cube has been introduced into remote areas of Asia and South America. It provided drinking water and electrical power to several villages in Pakistan after its recent earthquake. Currently, the system is being used in isolated villages in Venezuela and Pakistan.

The Solar Cube is a cooperative project by Spectra Watermakers Inc. of San Rafael, Calif., and Trunz Metallchnik AG of Switzerland. The two companies decided to partner in manufacturing highly efficient water treatment systems. The product ranges in price from $38,000 to $80,000. Training and operational instruction is included in the purchase price.