Salt-Powered Lamp to Light Developing World
As you may know, around 80% of the world has access to electricity. But what of the remaining 20%? There are some places where main lines electricity just isn’t feasible.
Take the Philippines, for example, which is made up of more than 7,000 islands. Combined with their tropical maritime climate making it hot and humid, the area is prone to extreme weather and, therefore, natural disaster – you may remember hearing about Typhoon Haiyan in 2014.
As you can probably imagine, these factors combined mean that some parts of the Philippines don’t have electricity. When the sun goes down, the kerosene lamps, candles, and battery-powered lanterns come out.
Unfortunately, these light sources are a fire risk, and batteries can be expensive – especially if they are providing your only light throughout the night. So engineers have been looking into alternatives, and in the process might have developed something that could cut down on electricity usage around the world.
Aisa Mijeno is an engineer at De La Salle University in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, a member of Greenpeace Philippines, and co-founder with Raphael Mijeno of SALt, Sustainable Alternative Lighting.
Aisa has developed a lamp that can run on salt water, both from the ocean and made up from tapwater with added salt. The lamp can stay lit for up to eight hours, fueled by only a single glass of salt water!
There is a whole load of benefits for using the Salt Lamp: no fire risk, only needs to be filled once a night, replaces the traditional cost of lighting… And if a natural disaster were to hit, the resources to provide lighting would be a lot easier to get ahold of.
The only downside is that the electrodes inside the lamp would have to be replaced after only six months, but this is only if the lamp is used for eight hours every single day, and it’s a small price to pay in comparison.
Although the aim is to sell the Salt Lamp commercially in the future, at the moment they are being given out to nonprofit organisations to pass on to those in need.
The team is now working on a newer version of the Salt Lamp which would also have the capability of charging small handheld devices, such as mobile phones, which could also prove invaluable in the event of a natural disaster.
Better for the environment and better for the wallet: with innovation like this, it probably won’t be long before the Salt Lamp is being sought the world over!