Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Generating steam in a film structure using solar radiation

evaporationsolar energythin filmwater


This set of patents introduces a new method and various technologies to generate steam in a planar or hollow structure by using solar energy. The efficiency of the system – from solar energy to the steam – is increased by the thin-film evaporation process that takes place inside the structure, minimizing the loss of heat. The steam produced is then condensed in a device that allows to recover the latent heat and thus increase the energy efficiency of the system.

Technical features

These three patents cover technologies with applications in water desalination through renewable energy sources. The main feature of the technology is the solar cell, which uses solar energy to generate steam from salt water or contaminated, thus obtaining purified water. The desalination and water purification takes place via thermal process, and the technology is able to operate in off-grid conditions. The innovative structure of the cell increases the solar steam productivity than current market solutions. The increased efficiency of the technology is accompanied by the use of inexpensive materials and manufacturing processes to maintain competitive prices and easy maintenance. The university researchers have already developed and successfully tested a few working prototypes of the device, which is protected by three patents being evaluated.

Possible Applications

  • Water desalination;
  • Water purification;
  • Steam production from renewable energy;
  • Distilled water.


  • High energy efficiency;
  • Low cost;
  • Easy maintenance;
  • Flexibility (constant shape, variable size);
  • 3D printing can;
  • Off-grid operation (solar energy as a source).