Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Low-cost zero emission lighting

Following up an earlier post on solar flashlights, I wanted to post this piece on a couple of light and solar devices in development. Check out the d.light forever-bright and Solar-in-a-Box system covered in the Launch Silicon Valley press release. Working from Mbarara now with intermittent power in the evening, the need for alternative power and lighting is, ah, blindingly obvious.

Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, both second-year Stanford MBAs and co-founders of startup D. Light Design, want to eliminate the use of kerosene lanterns in developing countries with a product called Forever-Bright.  The product’s working prototype is a white box about half the size of a loaf of bread with bright LEDs for interior home lighting and hookups to charge cell phones and power radios. The device can be charged with solar photovoltaic cells, or, for villagers capable of traveling to grid-connected power sources, they can charge the device and bring it back to their homes…

Installing residential solar power systems is too expensive, says Meredith McClintock, CEO of Petaluma-based ReadySolar, and her small startup wants to change that.  Solar power, installed, currently costs around $10/watt. Approximately half of that expense is related to the cost of professional installation, says McClintock.

ReadySolar believes it can eliminate 30 to 50 percent of the installed cost with its Solar-in-a-Box systems, which come prepackaged and, the company claims, install more easily and cheaply than competing systems from big photovoltaic (PV)
installers such as Akeena Systems or Solar City.


Written by Ben

June 20, 2007 at 9:01 am

Posted in Global Health

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