Indian student wins design award for water producing ‘leaf’


“Leaf” an 18-feet tall solar powered water condensation unit designed by Anurag Sarda has won first place out of entries submitted by top design schools across the world for the “Time to Care Sustainable Design Award”.

The competition was organised by Victorinox Swiss Army, a Swiss company popular for their Army knives.

Similar to a natural leaf, water is artificially generated through condensation. Basically, there are four components in this equipment – solar panel, charge controller, rechargeable battery and a thermoelectric module. All these parts work well in conjunction to create water. There is a huge metallic surface in the shape of a leave on the top of this apparatus. Dew drops on this man made leaf is formed by the process of condensation. The condensation process takes place with the help of solar energy generated by attached solar panel. These drops then get collected in the attached earthen pot.

This water then gets purified by a filter and sand as at the bottom of it there is a layer of sand, and the collected water slowly trickles into the heap of sand and gets percolated.This entire system is hassle free and it does not require high maintenance. The filter needs to be cleaned time to time so that it does not get clogged with dirt and sand. Through this process, one equipment can collect as much as 20 liters of water per day.

Sarda’s project is currently in the conceptual stage and according to him can be be practically implemented in humid regions in Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Australia.

“I am working on a prototype model in the next two years with sponsorship by Victorinox,” says Anurag , a student of MIT Institute of Design (MITID) who is currently pursuing an internship in Germany.

The overall cost of the 1st prototype of LEAF concept will be around 20000 to 25000 INR. But Anurag expects that once bulk production starts, the cost might come down to even less then 50% of this cost. So as compared to any other good water purifiers, that will cost somewhere between 10000 to 15000 INR, investing on LEAF will be more beneficial.