Panasonic, a Japanese giant, has unveiled the solar, LED and battery-integrated device which is designed and developed for shipping to regions where have no or rare access to electricity. The small-scale “eneloop solar storage” is scheduled to be delivered to Asia and Africa from November 2015.
At present, around 1.3 billion people live in areas with no or very limited electricity supply. In most non-electrified areas, people use kerosene lamps, rechargeable lanterns, diesel generators, etc., to provide lighting. However, these forms of lighting equipment have numerous drawbacks, including toxic exhaust, low levels of illumination, and high running costs. Cellphone networks are, however, widespread in these areas, despite the lack of an equipment-recharging infrastructure.
Panasonic is committed to the reliable supply of clean and safe light and power. The company hence launched the “Solar Lantern” program, delivering thousands of portable lanterns to regions where doesn’t enjoy the electricity. The development of “eneloop solar storage” is part of Panasonic’s commitment.
The product is a compact power harvesting, storage, and lighting system. Electric power generated by solar cells during the day is stored in a nickel-metal hydride battery unit. This can then be used as a selectable night light and power source for charging small items of equipment, such as cellphones. The straight tube LED (5W) and the bulb-type LED (1.5W) equipped deliver bright, high-quality light during the night, while the battery can be fully charged in about five hours through the high-efficiency solar cells. The expected lifespan of the device is approximately five years.
The new product will be marketed not only through existing sales dealers but also via international organizations such as NPOs and NGOs that are helping people living in non-electrified areas to develop a better standard of living environment.