Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Students Design More Efficient, Affordable Lighting for Sub-Saharan Africans

16.07.2009
A Kansas State University student is combining engineering and nature to design a more affordable and more sustainable lighting source for those living without electricity.

Tai-Wen Ko, K-State senior in electrical engineering, is mentoring Justin Curry, K-State freshman in electrical engineering. The pair is designing a solar lantern with a more affordable initial cost. Ko is focusing his efforts for people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, which he said is the least electrified region in the world.

Ko said kerosene lamps are the most affordable option for people without electricity, but the lamps can be expensive to maintain and they produce carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. He said solar lanterns are a popular alternative to kerosene lamps because they run on renewable energy and aren't at risk of starting a fire.

"Solar lanterns are not hard to make," Ko said. "You have to find the right parts and have ideas on how to build a circuit. I wanted to make a design that would be easy enough for someone living in Sub-Saharan Africa to build on their own, which would lower the cost because they wouldn't have to have it shipped."

Ko said his solar lantern has three main components: a solar panel, battery and a white light-emitting diode. He researched different types of these materials and chose the cheapest options. Ko said his lantern is about 30 percent cheaper than the average market value.

Most solar lanterns available use florescent tubes, which draw too much power, Ko said. He decided to use a white light-emitting diode because it's cheaper, lasts longer and is brighter. He chose the cheapest option for his solar panel and also for his battery, which is a sealed lead-acid battery and is similar to a car battery.

Ko said an environmental concern for his lantern is that the battery contains lead, so he is researching a recycling plan that could be implemented in the Sub-Saharan African region. A lithium ion battery would be better for the environment, Ko said, but its current cost is expensive.

Tai-Wen Ko at tko@k-state.edu and Anil Pahwa at pahwa@ksu.edu and 785-532-4654

Tai-Wen Ko | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu
http://www.ksu.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects
15.12.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake
12.12.2017 | Duke University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>