SR article

Safety measures

Whenever a new process is implemented, it is important to think of all safety measures that need to be taken in order to rule out any hazards. Hence we have created a list of the things that need to be considered. Before starting any operation with the installation, it is requested to run through this list.


  1. Personal protective equipment (PPE)


-- To be worn when working with the distillation unit

  • Safety glasses

To prevent any steam released (by the relief valve, a leak or when opening the still) from getting into the eye

  • Heat gloves

To prevent burning your hands when working with the machinery that heats up through the hot steam inside



-- To be worn when working on the steam generation tank

  • Safety helmet

Often, working on the steam tank involves working above your head. If any equipment falls down, a safety helmet will prevent it from injuring your head.

  • Heat gloves

To prevent burning your hands when working with the machinery that heats up due to the hot steam inside.

  • Sun glasses

Working on the steam tank can involve standing close by the focal point. When the focal point shines into your eyes, this can be very harmful. It’s like looking into the sun but even stronger.



-- To be worn when working/ climbing on the mirror

  • Safety gloves

To prevent injuring your hands when it gets stuck in between the handles.

  • Safety helmet

To prevent head injury when falling from that height or when working above your head.



2. Zone indication

Inside the shed, there are certain zones where you’re exposed to certain dangers. These should be indicated on the floor, maybe using tape, so that workers can make sure not to stand there unless it is indicated otherwise by the step-by-guide. For example: at the point where hot steam from the valve on top of the still is released. Since this valve is at eye-height, it can be extremely dangerous to stand at the place that the released steam is directed towards. Hence these danger zones should be indicated so that the workers remember not to stand there.


3.  Fence around the energy source

We’ve noticed that during our absence, the villagers (especially the children) will sometimes spend time around the solar collector and steam tank, interfering with the apparatus. They’ve emptied the steam tank before, which caused some delay in experiments, and they have climbed the mirror, which can put them in danger (e.g. falling). Also, whenever someone passes between the mirror and the steam tank, they can be exposed to the focal point. This can be extremely dangerous, especially when spending a larger amount of time in this focal point, due to the extremely high temperature. Hence it is favourable to set up a fence around the energy source so that only people with authorization can pass. Also, the mirror should only used when active distilling and under supervision of authorized (trained) personnel. They have the obligation to keep non-qualified people out of the premises.


4. Sign: ‘Never stand in focal point!’

A sign such as this could be installed as an additional measure to the fence discussed in the previous point.


5. Cover for the mirror

When the mirror is not being used, it will still reflect the sunbeams and create a focal point at all times. When it’s not being used, the mirror is standing still in its equilibrium position and the focal point will move with the sun, directed at places other than the steam tank. This can cause extreme hazards: Burning dry patches of grass or items placed on the roof of the neighbouring house, or any place in the range of the focal point for that matter. Also, as discussed in point 3, this can put any person passing in front of the mirror in danger. Covering the mirror would prevent the creation of a focal point and thus eliminate these dangers.