Saturday, October 1, 2011

Under The Sun

Everyone is aware of the rising prices of fuel and other sources of energy. Alternative sources have been constantly being developed to make them more reasonable and convenient for not only the large companies but for the individual families as well. One of the best sources of fuel is solar power. However to set up solar powered panels in a home costs a bit much for the average income earner, and even then the output is minimal given the investment. For poorer third world countries this leaves coal and other depletable sources of energy as the get go way of supplying energy.

A solar energy firm called Eight19 from the United Kingdom had developed a new low cost system for supplying solar power to poorer families. This system is known as IndiGo, which is being introduced in Kenya. In consists of cheap flexible plastic made into a 2.5W solar panel that charges a battery. Now here is where it gets interesting; the panel itself is connected to a USB mobile phone charger and an LED lamp that provides around 5 hours of light from one day’s charge.

The system will only cost a $10 initial fee for the lease and $1 a week to run. On top of these, users will be given scratch cards that they can validate by sending text messages through their phones which in turn add credit for future uses. The company has plans of introducing the same technology to other countries within the next few months, as well as more powerful panels for larger households and electronics.

Technology such as this would do wonders for the Philippines given our generally sunny climate as well as abundance of low-income housing. Hopefully if such technology is brought to the Philippines, it will properly be marketed and used to save up on bio fuel such as coal.

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