Finding a way to provide light and power to those in developing nations is challenging. Lack of infrastructure (or the money to build it) makes it impossible to enjoy the running water or reliable electricity we take for granted. Solar panels and wind turbines are viable solutions, but most developing nations also lack a skilled workforce to produce, install, and maintain these technologies.
For the time being, the best way to help those in remote, underdeveloped areas gain access to life-changing light and water is to think simple. Like this solar lamp in a bottle or this solar powered water desalination device. Or, if you’re specifically interested in assisting coastal or island nations, this salt-water-powered LED lamp that also charges USB devices.
The beauty of this clean tech lighting solution is in its simplicity. All you have to do to create a safe, bright light source is fill the lamp’s reservoir with salty water and enjoy–no batteries, rechargeable or otherwise, are required. When the saline water is put in the lantern, it functions as an electrolyte with a magnesium (Mg) rod (negative electrode) and a carbon rod (positive electrode) inside the lantern. In the official specs, Green House Co. Ltd. says that 16 g of salt should be mixed with 350ml of water in a special mixing bag to power the lamp. What’s not clear is how the lamp will function if you used water straight out of the ocean.
According to the company, the lamp can continuously generate electricity for eight hours per charge of water. With a luminous flux of 55lm, the lamp can be used for up to 120 hours before the magnesium rod requires replacement. Just plug your USB compatible device into the included port, and your devices can enjoy the power of salt water as well.