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A Solar Bulb May Light the Way

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June 26, 2010 – Comments (1)

This is a *great* product for countries with unstable electricity supply. There was another story I was reading months ago about a 'solar suitcase' where there is literally a suitcase (fits in overhead bins) with PV panels on the sides and an inverter/regulator built in so that is a completely portable small power station. I really love ideas like these!!

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A Solar Bulb May Light the Way
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF
June 25, 2010, 2:29 pm

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/a-solar-bulb-may-light-the-way/

Nearly 130 years after Thomas Edison created the first marketable incandescent light bulb, nearly two billion people around the globe still live their lives without a steady supply of electric light. The problem is not light bulbs, of course, but living off the grid.

To generate light, these people do what those without electricity have always done: burn something, mostly kerosene. But kerosene is a dirty fuel: studies show that breathing fumes from indoor kerosene use is the equivalent of smoking two packs a day.

The cost of producing light, when compared to electricity from the grid in any American city, is also astronomical: $3 to $11 per kilowatt hour. Aggressively expanding the electric grid in Africa, Asia and South America would solve the problem, but that is unrealistic, at least in the near future. Yet there is another solution: decentralized renewable electricity systems. For lighting, solar panels can charge batteries and power conventional lamps. But there are other solutions, too, like a solar light bulb recently unveiled by Nokero, a Hong Kong-based manufacturer.

The design resembles a souped-up incandescent bulb, but in fact the device is a self-contained lantern using an array of light-emitting diodes, or LED’s, and several small strips of photovoltaic panels.

Nokero promotes it as the “world’s first” solar light bulb, but other solar LED lantern designs have been around for several years.

Where Nokero’s bulb appears to break ground is in its design: it’s small enough to carry, self-contained, highly durable and features a replaceable battery. When fully charged, it provides four hours of light.

But whether it will make the ubiquitous kerosene lantern obsolete is another question. A single unit costs around $12, although Nokero says bulk orders would be highly discounted. Whether even at a reduced price point the device would prove attractive to the poor rural people it is aimed at is uncertain, but Nokero is developing a marketing strategy to do just that, enlisting the assistance of private and public organizations.

“We’re trying to roll this out at the bottom of the pyramid,” Stephen Katsaros, the company’s founder, said in a recent interview.

1 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 26, 2010 at 1:10 PM, Varchild2008 (85.35) wrote:

Hmm now if only "MOON BULBS" could be developed then you could replace all of your bulbs in the house....

Or just live in areas of the planet where it never gets dark.

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