Australia is pretty much ground zero when it comes to water restrictions, and thus, it’s a hotbed for water conservation tech. The Solar Sprinkler concept by Alex Cashmore of the University of South Australia is a case in point: a solar-powered sprinkler system that couples with your rainwater harvesting tank.
This system — candidate for the Australian Design Award — was created to replace those energy hungry pumping systems typically required to pressurize water from rainwater tanks. It works with low pressure water and functions entirely off the grid, via solar power.
Green Diary reports that core body of the Solar Sprinkler Carbon is composed of black polyethylene, while the stand is anodized aluminum, both of which are sturdy enough to withstand extensive abuse in the outdoors, regardless of heat or cold. When the sun shines, the Solar Sprinkler works like any regular spiral sprinkler, watering your lawn. When solar energy isn’t available, it shuts down its water valve to prevent leakage.
As far as the Australian Design Competition goes, the Solar Sprinkler’s designer would like the judges to know that this is more than just another concept design — it has, in fact, been tested using functional prototypes, uncovering functional issues that would not have been resolved otherwise and resulting in a device with reportedly proven performance.