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Plastic Solar Cells with LEDs Offer Cheap Lighting in Poor Countries


solarledlampsAccording to a study, there are about 1.5 billion people in developing countries who do not have electricity, the majority of them using kerosene lamps for light after sunset. But now, thanks to the researchers from Denmark, the lighting problem could disappear.

They have developed an LED lamp that is powered by solar cells, which costs less than one-quarter of the annual cost of using kerosene lighting. The solar-LED lamps could be an affordable alternative to kerosene, being expected to be released next year.

The lamp that can produce reading-quality light is composed of solar cells, LEDs, and ultrathin lithium batteries. The circuitry and lamp’s polymer solar cells are printed onto large flexible plastic films, and then the LEDs, flat batteries, and diodes are mounted using silver epoxy. After being encapsulated in a second sheet of film, the sheets are rolled up and snapped together at the corners with metal fasteners.

In rural areas of Latin America, Africa or Asia the average household spends $40-$80 per year for kerosene lamps. But the total cost of the Denmark scientists’ solar-LED lamps is only about $27. They claim that in short time will manufacture an improved version for about $10. For the beginning, the new versions of the lamps will be tested in Malawi and Mali.

[Source: Physorg]

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