We’ve heard this a lot of times, “Necessity is the Mother of all Invention“, here is one of the places we’ve seen it in action.
What do you get when you have a Soda PET Bottle, Water, corrugated sheets (aluminum) and some Chlorine? FREE LIGHT, Yes fellas, you heard it right FREE LIGHT.
Online chemistry classes should be able to teach you other sunlight energy storing chemicals.
The Liter of Light project, launched to combat the rising cost of electricity in the Philippines, aims to provide 1 million homes with light. About 25000 homes in Manila, Philippines are using this innovative ways to lit up their houses using sunlight powered “bulbs” made using the above ingredient.
In a country where 40% of the population lives off less than $2 a day, the rising cost of energy leaves many who can’t afford electricity. Some use candles as a light source, but when generations of family members share a small, dark space in small towns, accidental and destructive fires are often the result.
The bottles function as 60-watt lights powered by 100% solar energy. Refraction is an amazing thing, if you drilled a hole in your ceiling light would drop directly through the opening in a straight line casting a shadow on the ground in the shape of the hole. By placing a bottle filled with water into the hole, the light is refracted by the water and emitted at 360 degrees like a light bulb.
The project, which started out in the Philippines, has partner offices in Columbia, India and now Africa, taking their solar-powered philosophy to over 20 cities.
The light is refracted by filling an old plastic bottle with 10ml of chlorine and the rest with filtered water. This is then attached onto a strip of metal roofing, and attached to the roof of the house.
It takes only minutes to make, and using just a hammer, rivet, metal sheet, sandpaper and epoxy it is cheap and easy to install. This means members of the local community can install the bottles themselves.
Illac Diaz, founder of My Shelter Foundation and the Liter of Light says:
“It is about a dollar to make, and the nice thing there is even after you initially install the first one it becomes a business”, he said.
“We only do the first hundred or thousand and then what happens is the local community starts building it themselves. They can build and install so they become the local green jobs. It is not imported; it is the bottom of the pyramid doing a green technology, which has never been done before.”
Mind you the light can actually provide up to 55 watts and goes down to about 40 watts when its raining (which is still great actually).
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Solar Bottle Bulb?
This simple innovation is not perfect: The water needs to be replaced every five years and obviously without any provision for energy storage, the bulb will not work at night.
But the advantages are awesome for communities that are deprived of daylight. It is surprisingly effective, using cheap and locally available materials that allows the poor in these settlements to use their homes more effectively. The bulb does not produce any harmful pollutants and also reduces the dangers from faulty and temporary electrical connections that cause devastating fires.
What do you think about this project, we would love to know