A vacuum pump is a device that removes / sucks gas (in this case water) molecules from a sealed volume in order to leave behind a partial vacuum.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter is a water filter that removes contaminants from water by using pressure to force water molecules through a semipermeable membrane. During this process, the contaminants are filtered out and flushed away, leaving clean, delicious drinking water.
A garbage containment unit is placed at the bottom of the bottle which helps store the garbage/wastes, when the water gets purified. This can be removed later.
Gyroscope is a device consisting of a wheel or disc mounted so that it can spin rapidly about an axis which is itself free to alter in direction. The orientation of the axis is not affected by tilting of the mounting, so gyroscopes can be used to provide stability or maintain a reference direction in navigation systems, automatic pilots, and stabilizers.
The Arduino Uno R3 a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328. It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.
A relay is an electrically operated switch of mains voltage.It means that it can be turned on or off, letting the current to go through or not. Controlling a relay with the Arduino is as simple as controlling an output such as an LED.
The floater helps the puri pod to float on any given water body it is placed in.
Puri pods basically stands for purification pods as these machines purify water and also are capsule or pod like shaped. These machines float on the surface of water due to the air-filled cavities (floaters) present in them and suck water in using a vacuum pump powered by a solar pump (as developed in the future prototype).
Note: that the vacuum pump does not suck water at a high rate, it sucks it at such a rate that the water entering does not disturbs the aquatic life’s equilibrium.
The vacuum pump is connected to one of the terminals of the relay, which is further connected to the Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino is then controlled through a software coding program. The other terminal of the relay is connected to the power supply.
Hence, as we move forward the vacuum pump sucks water into the Puri pod and causes the water to pass through reverse osmosis filter.
Note: These filters are determined by the nature of stagnant water bodies i.e. the minimum and the maximum size of garbage content that can be found there.
Due to passing of the water through these filters the water gets purified and hence, we get clean water. The impurities that are found in the water are stored in the garbage chamber which is placed at the bottom of the bottle.This garbage is removed and further properly treated in a plant.
In this project, the main power consumers is the vacuum pump that is used to suck water in and suck garbage out. Moreover, the power consumption of these would not exceed the power generated by the solar panel placed at the top of the Puri pods but there would be production of extra energy that can be harvested from these machines if we use a properly insulated water proof cable. In the real cases, this project would also be used along with a gyroscope which would be used for balancing this pod when it is deployed in a harsh case scenarios such as when this project is implemented in the case of oceans.
Working model (For Demonstration) :
Puri Pods is basically a simple modification of the principle used in the case of vacuum cleaners. Vacuum cleaner consists of 3 parts – suction, filtering and output which is very similar to what we have proposed. Moreover, the difference lies in the purification mechanism used when water is used in case of air in the filtering unit and the power source to be solar panel.
Thus, the vacuum cleaner can be used to demonstrate the working of the Puri pods.
Note – In the real case water would be used in place of air and the power would be supplied via solar panels. The rest of the working would be same as that of a vacuum cleaner.
For an early prototype for the project we have used a 12V 1A vacuum pump along with a bottle that would be used in order to intake water and later on be used in order to carry out purification using a simple sand, gravel, stone and activated charcoal filter. These filters would be used in order to purify the batch of water that has been pumped inside the unit by the vacuum pump. The pump works in for a limited amount of time in which it consumes a definite amount of water which accounts to one batch. This batch is then made to be purified using the different types of filtering mechanisms that have been introduced in the unit and the purifier water is then collected in the outlet of the unit. This keeps on going till a particular pH of level is obtained in water with no impurities.
Working of Puri pods :
The Puri pod consists of 2 vents both for inlet and outlet of water. The inlet water is impure and has a lot of garbage and impurities in it however the outlet water is pure and its purity depends upon up to which extent you want to make it. So, as the water enters the Puri pod through the vent due to the action of the vacuum pump. The pump is connected to the relay which in turn is connected to the microcontroller. When the power is supplied, current passes through the relay module. The relay module is operated through the Arduino Uno microcontroller (using a software program in Laptop or system). This relay module acts as an electrical switch which allows only specific current to pass through the Pump. Using the software program ( through the Arduino microcontroller), we can control the amount of water which can be brought/sucked in by the pump. The water enters the purification unit consisting of certain type of purification methods that can be used in order to make the water pure or even drinkable. So, furthermore the water would come out of the bottom of the Puri pod. This procedure would repeat until the water is purified up to a particular extent that is specified as per the needs. The garbage that is present is stored in the garbage chamber in the Puri pod to which a vacuum tube is attached. This garbage is them removed via Puri pod out of the lake and to a particular area where it can be properly treated.
The future working prototype will have solar panels installed on the pod, where the main source of the power supply and generation of this machine is obtained from the sun.
Uniqueness of this project is that this project purifies water in the lakes only and prevents certain problems like diseases, false smell etc. In the present days, the water is generally purified in the process of giving it to the consumer and getting the water out of the lake. However, stagnant water bodies are not purified and if they are to be purified it required a lot of money, man power and time.
Moreover, generally in harvesting the sunlight we require plain lands with absolutely no trees. Hence making solar panel available to harvest the solar energy in large scale in not possible however this can be done in case of lakes using these Puri pods. Note: If there is existence of aquatic life in that region then there would be use of specific number of Puri pods in a single stagnant water body source depending upon the size of the stagnant water body source.