Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Friday, February 10, 2012

Low Tech Innovation

I love stories about using low tech in innovative ways. Below is an excerpt from an article, which may be read in full here. Below the excerpt is a short video on the same topic.

Off-grid lighting found in filled water bottles

The world is not getting smaller, but is becoming more full of life – humans to be exact. Increasing demands for water, shelter and electricity are issues that are not going away in the near future. With this in mind, a new solution has been found to meet the high demand for electricity.

While the solution may be flawed, it is an answer nonetheless. In Brazil 2002, during an energy crisis, local community members found a way to harness the sunlight into a light source to be used inside buildings. Taking a 2-liter clear bottle, two cap-sized portions of bleach, and water to fill the bottle, the bottle acts as a powerless light bulb. The bottle is then placed in a hole in the ceiling where the sun can enter on the exposed end of the bottle then refract the light into the building.

NGOs like Isang Litrong Liwanag (“A Liter of Light”) have already begun to install approximately 10,000 bottles in the Philippines. This proves not only to be a potential solution to the lack of access to electricity, but also may stimulate the economy due to the market for the light bulbs.

Some people, thanks to micro-lending and access to resources, have even begun to make a business out of the bottle light bulb. One man, Demi Bucras in the Philippines, now works at installing these lights for the community. His addition to the solar bottle lights: metal sheets. Bucras takes the metal sheets and cuts a small hole. He then puts the bottle into the hole and creates a secure fit. Next, he cuts the same size hole into the roof and places the bottle into the hole. The metal sheet keeps out unwanted weather, like heat and rain, while still allowing the sun light in. Within a month of the first solar bulbs in Buras community in the Philippines, over a 1,000 ‘bulbs’ were installed.
Burcras says he even had to quit his job because the demand was high, and the money was good.

Many critics say this sun light-driven light bulb is creative, but it is not a lasting solution. Questions concerning lack of access to water, multiple storey buildings, maintenance, and how to have light at night time are some of the main criticisms of the water bottle light bulb.

While the light bulbs cannot power homes at night, it can save electricity from being used during the day, which can then be used at night, or saved for other purposes. This can help reduce electricity bills and that money as well can be allocated towards other expenses.

The light bulbs not only work during sunny days, but also on cloudy days as well. Water refracts light at 360 degrees which means that any source of light can be used to create the light bulb. Users also state that opening a door or window only allows so much light in, and usually much heat or cold. The light bulbs in the ceiling allow for more light to be let in, and in controlled areas, without heating or freezing the house.


The Strongest Karate said...

This is the COOLEST thing I have seen in a long, long, time.

Reuse garbage + lighting impoverished homes + cleaning environment = F------ WIN.

BK Max said...

Nice !