Build It Solar has a great collection of solar DIY projects, including stills, cookers, food driers, and water heaters. But the gem of their solar-distillation collection, for my money, is this paper, from 1985, by Horace McCracken and Joel Gordes. It’s unformatted ASCII and black-and-white GIFs, but it provides a better review of the various designs of solar stills, and the theory that informs their design and operation, than anything else I’ve found in the tubes.

From the pages of MAKE:


If you’re interested in all things solar, be sure to check out Parker Jardine’s Solar Power System Design in MAKE 14.


Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.