A practical way to use the power of the sun is to let it do the hard work of desalination for you.
Instead of using costly filters and centrifuge processes, simply pump salt water into shallow trays with a piece of glass in a frame above it. If the glass it tilted at an angle it will catch the sunlight, concentrate it on the water in the trays, and catch the water mist as the sun evaporates the brine. The water will trickle down the glass into a collection system. The salt and all contaminants are left behind in the tray, where they can be cleaned out as necessary.
This process produces pure distilled water without the use of gas or electricity. The heat of the sun does all the hard work. The beauty of this technique is that it works on both the small scale and the large. This can produce enough fresh water to feed your garden or an entire town.