Alternative power sources are able to do more than just save the planet. Now, they can help save people, too.

Spectra Watermakers, Inc. of San Rafael, Calif. has introduced the new Solar Cube, a portable water treatment machine powered by solar and wind that can provide clean drinking water in disaster situations.

Powered by 24-volt batteries, which are charged by integrated photovoltaic panels and a wind-powered generator on the machine, the Solar Cube is portable and easily assembled on-site in less than an hour. By placing a pump, which is also attached to the machine, into a polluted or saltwater source, the Solar Cube captures the water and pumps it through a series of filters, including a reverse osmosis membrane in the final stage, which eliminates microscopic bacteria, viruses, salts and dangerous chemicals.

The Solar Cube can provide up to 3,500 gallons of clean drinking water a day, enough to sustain hundreds of families during a disaster. It can provide enough energy to power other vital emergency functions, such as refrigeration equipment, laptops and communications equipment. It can be used also to provide water and electricity to remote locations or for developers working in rural areas.

Spectra Watermakers manufactured the Solar Cube in cooperation with Trunz Metallchnik AG of Switzerland.    EC