Okay… Some days all the pieces come together — LEDs, solar panels and a Nickel Metal Hydrid Battery… A car you say! Better yet – a light bulb.
As reported on by Tim Hornvak on Crave, CNET’s CRAVE gadget blog (June 14th), Hong Kong-based Nokero has introduced what it bills as the world's only solar-powered lightbulb with the hope of reaching millions of people with little or no access to electricity. Nokero lights are apparently made from impact-resistant plastic, four solar panels, a replaceable rechargeable battery and five LEDs.
The Nokero N100 solar LED lightbulb is meant to replace kerosene lamps (It took me a minute before the light went on ‘No Kerosene’) as a lighting source in the developing world. The company says 1.6 billion people still lack sufficient access to electricity, and many burn fossil fuels for light, which can be dangerous and expensive.
The N100 solar bulb is about the size of a standard incandescent bulb and has four small solar panels in its rainproof plastic housing. Five LEDs (probably containing rare earth phosphors) and a replaceable NiMH battery (probably containing lanthanum) inside provide up to four hours of light when the device is fully charged.
The LEDs are meant to last 50,000 to 100,000 hours, and the solar panels are rated to last 10 years. The life of the N100 is basically 5 to 10 years.
Apparently a single bulb costs in the order of $15; a case of 48 costs $480. The company offers a "significant" discount when buying a thousand or more. It adds that the bulb pays for itself within months when used in place of a kerosene lantern. NGOs are considered to likely be the main buyers.
Per Nokero, in addition to eliminating indoor air pollution and burn risks, consumers can cut 550 pounds of CO2 emissions over one year when lighting with the N100 instead of kerosene. I can’t attest to the lighting quality, but the company says the N100 is five times brighter than kerosene lamps and uses only 1/200th the energy.
Is it just me who cracks a smile every time I read about the increasing number of rare metals applications and folks ingenuity.
If you’d like to peruse the original CNEt article or view Nokero’s website, just click on http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20007538-1.html or http://nokero.com/index.php respectively.
Until soon… Ian