photoflow - solar and rainwater collection system by NOS photoflow - solar and rainwater collection system by NOS
aug 07, 2013

photoflow - solar and rainwater collection system by NOS

photoflow – solar and rainwater collection system by NOS
all images courtesy of NOS




a large number of people in developing countries suffer from a lack of access to electricity and safe drinking water. mexican design consultancy NOS have created ‘photoflow’ a product designed to collect these precious natural resources and to help distribute them to the masses. most developing countries are located near the equator and they receive more sunlight and rainfall than other places, however these basic amenities are not easily available. ‘photoflow’ aims to solve this issue, building upon the designs of existing rooftop containers, the simple device is made from recycled materials and composed of eight identical triangular photovoltaic modules that are mounted on commercial or custom water tanks. assembled together they form an octagon with a slight slope of 3 degrees, which allows water to funnel into the central filter. the water path then continues through a hose that directly flows into the water tank.


each module is equipped with first-generation monocrystalline silicon solar cells covered with an anti-reflective adhesive to protect the photovoltaic semiconductor and minimize the loss of light through reflection. the system integrates an N-type and P-type silicon layers. on top of the outer layer of the glass a nano repellent film is applied to prevent dirt from obstructing light. the water tank is made of recycled polyethylene through rotational molding with a capacity of 400 liters. The inner layer of the tank is covered with a coating that controls the formation of bacteria and fungi to maintain the quality of potable drinking water.



photoflow on existing rooftop water tanks in mexico



most developing countries are located near the equator and they receive more sunlight and rainfall than other places



photoflow assembled (views)



photoflow components



photoflow sunlight and rainfall collection diagram



photoflow solar panel components



photoflow components close up



worldwide rainfall



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • Excellent idea. Call Bill Gates – now. …then design a 2 bedroom structure under it for rural areas. It would be great for rural Cent. Am. Bravo Agustin.


    JimCan says:
  • Can the house carry the weight of a full tank?

    David Mackitnosh says:
  • In Vietnam the costs of a solar panel installation to supply one average household is ten times their annual income. In this country even the rich do not use these solutions because long-term strategies has no place in their philosophy.

    Airborne says:
  • This is a very good idea of storing natural resources. This is an awesome idea.

    Rhinogutter says:


    Willem Lensselink says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news