80,000 refugees can see in the dark

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by Michaelangelica, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

    May 2, 2006
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    Speaker: Shane Thatcher, CEO of illumination and inventor of the Mandarin Ultra solar light

    THATCHER: I became aware of the problem in that people were using kerosene lamps, and I have a background in carbon trading as well, so I understood that it was possible through developing a business model and a product that we could get the price to a point that it actually became affordable for people that earned a dollar a day.

    FAYLE: All right let's get to basics, what does the thing look like and how does it work?

    THATCHER: It's a very simple device and that's deliberate, it's circular, it's not much bigger than your hand, it has 12 LEDs on one side and a very simple on and off switch, on the other side it has a solar panel, and inside is three double A Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. So very simply you put it out in the sun for six hours, take it inside, hang it up or however you want to, turn it on and it'll give you sort of eight hours worth of light, which is about four times as bright as a kerosene lamp.

    FAYLE: Four times as bright as a kerosene lamp, so it's actually quite bright?

    THATCHER: Yes.

    FAYLE: Sufficient for everyday household operations, kids to read?

    THATCHER: That's exactly right, education, being able to cook your dinner, all of those sort of things. It's also portable because one of the big issues in the developing world, particularly with kerosene lamps, if for instance children get up in the middle of the night and they need to go outside to the bathroom, they have to light the lamp, it's very dangerous, generally living in a fairly flimsy house, so tipping over a kerosene lamp is a very dangerous thing to do.

    FAYLE: And kerosene is a really large danger in these places where you've got people huddled together in close proximity?

    THATCHER: Particularly refugee camps.
  2. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

    Apr 15, 2003
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