Solar stills: a comprehensive review of designs, performance and material advances

D. Dsilva Winfred Rufuss, S. Iniyan, L. Suganthi, P.A. Davies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The demand for fresh water production is growing day by day with the increase in world population and with industrial growth. Use of desalination technology is increasing to meet this demand. Among desalination technologies, solar stills require low maintenance and are readily affordable; however their productivity is limited. This paper aims to give a detailed review about the various types of solar stills, covering passive and active designs, single- and multi-effect types, and the various modifications for improved productivity including reflectors, heat storage, fins, collectors, condensers, and mechanisms for enhancing heat and mass transfer. Photovoltaic-thermal and greenhouse type solar stills are also covered. Material advances in the area of phase change materials and nanocomposites are very promising to enhance further performance; future research should be carried out in these and other areas for the greater uptake of solar still technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-496
Number of pages33
JournalRenewable and sustainable energy reviews
Early online date6 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • desalination
  • nanocomposites
  • performance
  • phase change materials
  • solar still


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