Happened to chance upon this interesting bit of news on the web…it is an initiative taken by the students of my college – JITM. This news would make every JITMian proud.
A low cost solar powered battery charged LED Lanterns have been developed by the students of Jagannath Institute of Technology and Management (JITM), Orissa, in collaboration with the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) member students from University of Illinois.
This has been specially developed for the benefit of the off-grid villages.Briefing newsmen here on Tuesday, JITM Director (Research and Development) Dhanandra Kumar Mishra said that the students have fabricated 80 prototype lamps for trial in the villages close to the institute in south Orissa.
The new technology has the scope of improving the life of the poor, enhancing the quality of indoor air, decreasing global dependence on petroleum and making a significant step towards reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, he said.Mishra said that two billion people light their homes with oil lanterns producing a miniscule quantity of light, however, consuming an additional one-third of the total energy used globally for all electrical home lighting, besides contributing to increase in carbon dioxide and emission levels.
In a continuing trend, Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have recently become more affordable and more power efficient. LEDs operate at low voltages, with incredible efficiency at very low power levels (currently over 30 lumens per watt).
The Solar LED lantern developed by the students of JITM has been designed as a prototype of kerosene lanterns with respect to its usefulness and light output, Mishra pointed out.The solar lantern has a light source with power consumption close to one watt.It would allow the use of a small photovoltaic panel to charge a 12 volt 1.2 to 1.5 amp-hour battery.
This design has the ability to focus light without reflectors, using only one third of the current, and has a resulting capacity to employ a 12-volt battery and photovoltaic cell.
A kerosene lantern costs Rs 200 with a durability of two and a half years and burns kerosene worth Rs 70 per month.However, the solar lantern has been made in such a way that it can last at least up to five years, with a battery replacement costing Rs 180 every 20 months, Mishra said.Hence, the long-term cost-of-ownership for the solar lantern may be estimated at 35 per cent less than that of a kerosene lantern, he claimed.