This paper presents the development of a portable solar desalination system using membrane distillation (MD) for processing seawater for drinking in remote areas and for emergency situations such as natural disasters. The portable system uses the vacuum MD to desalinate the seawater. Solar energy is being harvested to provide the energy input for the MD. The portable system should be scalable so that numerous systems can be deployed in case of emergency. The system is self-contained and draws all its energy needs from solar energy. A combination of solar PV and solar thermal collectors are being exploited to harness the energy from the sun to power the portable system. The development work focuses on the engineering design of the MD system to optimize the water production within a given frame size for portability and energy availability. The challenge lies in the engineering of an efficient self-contained system that is reliable and ease of maintenance that will provide drinking water for all where clean drinking water is not readily available.

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