Walking down the high street in Limassol, Cyprus, last summer, you would be forgiven for not looking skywards, for fear of tripping over a kerb, or being blinded by the sun. If you were to look up however, you might have seen the corners of a green gazebo peeking over the roof, a small indication of some of the exciting developments taking place.
For throughout the summer of 2017, Desolenator’s engineers were to be found toiling and sweating over 3 full-sized prototype units, (or “Desolenator babies” as they have become affectionately known by the team).
Working in conditions often topping 37℃ at midday, the team were swapping solar panels, testing insulation, adjusting cables, topping up water buckets, recording outputs, monitoring temperatures and so many other tasks, in a bid to test the different functions of the units and optimise the set-up.
‘Rest breaks’ involved huddling in the shade of the green gazebo, which itself was weighted down to prevent it flying off the rooftop with an unexpected gust of wind, and protecting the modesty of the team amidst sweaty-shirt change. The baking Cypriot sun seen as both our best friend and brutal enemy during this testing season. “Nivea should give us loyalty points for the amount of Factor 50+ we purchased,” remarked Roan, one of our Testing Engineers, on a particularly hot day. “They can become our unofficial sponsors.”
For a nation such as Cyprus, surrounded by seawater but suffering from chronic heatwaves and droughts, the issue of water conservation continues to penetrate citizen’s consciousness. Locals speak about having to buy bottled water because of the increasing saltiness of municipal systems, and government reminders encouraging minimal use of water are abundant.
The tests last autumn proved invaluable for helping us to understand how the prototypes can become more efficient, and the most successful elements have been combined into the new generation of prototypes, now undergoing their own testing. From this stage of testing we will move onto the certification processes and designing for manufacture, ready to launch later this year.
We would like to hugely thank our Cypriot partners who contributed their time, energy and roof-space to our cause last year, and politely suggest that the next time you are walking down the street, you have a glance skyward to see if there is any unusual activity. You never know what might be going on up there.