P15484: Solar Assisted Essential Oil Distiller


Project Summary Project Information

Essential oils have been identified as an opportunistic agricultural commodity that can be produced and exported by farmers in Borgne, Haiti for a profit due to their high monetary value, ease of shipping, long shelf life, and Haiti’s suitable climate. These essential oils are traditionally produced using a distillation process that require costly fuels. Due to the current poor economic state in Haiti and high energy cost of traditional distillers, a solar-assisted, low-energy oil distiller would potentially help to produce a profit without heavily relying on nonrenewable resources.

The goal of this project is to create a working home-scale prototype of this Essential Oil Distiller that serves as proof of concept demonstrating the economic feasibility of a large scale distiller. The end product should be essential oils extracted and ready for sale and transportation.

For more information, see our Project Readiness Package

Final System Design



Project Name
Solar Assisted Essential Oil Distiller
Project Number
Project Family
Energy and Sustainable Systems
Start Term
2141 (Fall 2014)
End Term
2145 (Spring 2015)
Faculty Guide
Sarah Brownell, sabeie@rit.edu , 585-330-6434
Primary Customer
Sarah Brownell, sabeie@rit.edu , 585-330-6434
Sponsor (financial support)
Chris Fisher

Team Members

Left to Right: Ben, Nate, John, Bruno, Peter

Left to Right: Ben, Nate, John, Bruno, Peter

Member Major Role Assigned Sub-System Contact
Peter Coutts Mechanical Engineer Note Taker Solar Tracker pjc1574@rit.edu
Nathan Johnson Mechanical Engineer Budget Keeper, Solid Modeling, Risk Mitigation Plant Matter Container, Drip Feed naj1375@rit.edu
Bruno Moraes Quintava Mechanical Engineer Theoretical Analysis Solar Trough bxm9211@rit.edu
Johnathon Wheaton Industrial Systems Engineer Project Leader, Scheduler, Solid Modeling Gas Burner, PV Backup jfw2637@rit.edu
Benjamin Wolfe Mechanical Engineer EDGE Expert, Build and Test Lead Condenser, Collector/Separator baw5405@rit.edu


Subject Matter Experts (SME's):



Table of Contents



Planning & Execution

Project Review

Gate Reviews

Photo Gallery

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Build, Test, Document

Publications & Presentations