Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Richard D. Wilk




Solar, Portable, Natural Disaster, Design, Clean Energy, Humanitarian, Green, Potable


The frequency and intensity of natural disasters have been increasing since the 1980's with a greater amount of category 4 and 5 hurricanes. These intense natural disasters dismantle entire islands, or cities leaving them without electricity and potable drinking water. Although generators suffice as a solution to supply electricity and run water filtration systems, natural disasters can eliminate all localized fuel resources leaving them unworkable. The objective of this project was to redesign and improve upon a portable energy conversion system initially designed by Union College Student Ian Davies in 2014. The system was designed to provide clean drinking water, heat and electricity using solar energy. The solar energy was used to heat water to a potable pasteurization temperature and also provide electricity to charge and run critical devices. This project focused on increasing the thermal and electrical outputs of the system, while also making the system more robust, compact and adjustable. The impact of the system enhancements were assessed using experimental data and analysis comparing the redesigned system to the original design.