A hidden gem in the developing world. Almost a privilege many are unaware of: energy harvesting “accessories” that charge mobile phones, medical equipment and light emitting textiles, on the move.
Using sunlight, the NGO Portable Light Project empowers professionals and civilians to dramatically improve the quality of life in countries with little to no infrastructure.
There are a number of projects across the globe, detailed at: http://portablelight.org/profiles, with a focus on enabling local manufacturers to integrate, and use, photovoltaic textiles into locally manufactured “accessories”.
To give you an idea, the NGO’s website quotes: “Six hours of sunlight fully charges the battery, which can provide over 20 hours of LED light.” This is the sort of energy capturing technology I would happily purchase…
Although the organisation led by MIT professor Sheila Kennedy is scaling up manufacture, existing market limitations to renewable energies might make it a little while before these solutions are mass produced. I do hope this technology, as well as advanced versions of Tesla’s discoveries, eventually work to everyone’s advantage. There are so many sustainability benefits to them… I also hope the “casing’s” manufacture will largely remain within developing countries, enabling employment and maintaining culture specific designs… without exploiting local workforces and disintegrating family support nodes. “Call me naive!”, said the incorrigible cynic.
More info available from The Global Journal here.
[Image source: Moss, A. 2012. Let there be (portable) light. Shape-shifting solar textile technology. The Global Journal, July-August 2012, pp. 60-65.]
[Image source: Portable Light Project. [Online] Available from: http://portablelight.org/images/downloads/PL-PROFILE-ENERGY-ENTREPRENEUR.pdf Accessed: May 2013].