[Editor’s Note: The Solar Pebble story received so much positive interest that we decided to reach out to designers Plus Minus Design for an interview, which they graciously decided to do with us. You can now read that interview here.]
Plus Minus Design, a team of innovative designers in the UK which look to have done some design work for the Solar Aid charity around the Solar Orb [PDF], now have another solar design idea unleashed centered around their new Plus Minus Solar mission of being “dedicated to the design and development of innovative humanitarian products for the developing world.” This one, being shown on one of the designer’s Flickr accounts, is called the Solar Pebble.
The Solar Pebble, as picked up on by Yanko Design, “is a solar powered lamp targeted for use in rural Africa, as a humanitarian product, and at home in the UK as the perfect gift.” Designer Tom Weales, through his Flickr feed, seems to see the Solar Pebble idea as an eco and health friendly alternative to the fact that “in the world’s poorest regions including sub-Saharan Africa, reliance on kerosene burning lanterns kills one person every 20 seconds.” The LED Solar Pebble, as it is designed, looks to change that.
Features of the Solar Pebble include being powered by batteries that are charged via an integrated solar panel, being able to charge mobile devices like cell phones, a ratchet handle that “allows the product to be carried and angled when standing or suspended” and the ability to strap it to a backpack for daytime charging. Some of these features seem to be more focused upon this item’s use in the UK as a back up power supply, while in rural Africa it seems to be seen as being a method that “allows families to carry on business after dark, to help children learn into the evenings, to provide clean lighting to replace choking kerosene and to do all this for around one tenth of the annual cost of fossil fuel burning lanterns.”
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