|EVENTS: 4th Annual Fall Demo
Outdoor demonstration at National Defense University, Fort McNair, DCat NDU
There's still plenty of time to register
for the TIDES fall demo. The event will take place 5-8 October 2010 at Fort McNair.
TIDES on EmeraldPlanet TV Program Lin Wells will appear on the EmeraldPlanet TV program, on Channel 10 in Fairfax to discuss alternative energy and surveillance for special operations. This program is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, September 26th at 6:30pm. He will be accompanied by Phil Stockdale of the Prepositioned Expeditionary Assistance Kits (PEAK) project.
Haiti Observations Paper by Larry Wentz
The UN ETC Tent in Haiti
Larry Wentz's Haiti Information and Communications Observations
paper offers a first-hand, view of uses of ICT in Haiti, and thoughts on what it could mean for the future. Click here
to read more.
Feature: SunNight Solar
By Mark Bent
Conventional recommendations for providing emergency lighting have not changed much in recent years - buy a flashlight and extra batteries and hope the cavalry arrives and the power comes on before the batteries run out. While this advice is a boon for the battery manufacturers, recent advances in three separate technologies offer a less costly and more reliable answer to illuminating the night in post disaster recovery operations.
Solar or photovoltaic panels, rechargeable batteries and light emitting diodes (LEDs) have all shared the following in recent years - they have gotten much better in reliability and performance while simultaneously become much cheaper. These solar powered products showed immediate value after the devastating Haiti earthquake of January 2010. There was an immediate call for lighting by the World Bank, non-governmental organizations and the US government. USAID estimates that one light impacts ten people each night in the Port-au-Prince area. At a wholesale price of just over $10.00, the cost to benefit impact ratio is quite attractive.
The operation of the products is simple - place in the sun during the day, the solar cell generates electricity; the power is routed via a circuit board to rechargeable batteries where the energy is stored. The energy is then released at night, powering the LEDs. The circuit board is an energy management device - too much sun, resulting in too much electricity being generated, could overcharge the batteries. Full discharge of the batteries is also not good for long term use and power spikes to the LEDs could destroy them. Many products use off the shelf rechargeable AA batteries, which can also be removed from the device and used for other purposes - powering a radio or small GPS.
In one day, sufficient energy is collected to provide illumination for four to six hours each night. Some products have high/medium/low settings which allow for illumination all night long. The AA batteries are rated on charge/discharge cycles, normally between 750 to 1000 cycles.
In the developed world where power, and illumination, is taken for granted, these products should be in every family's home emergency kit. In the developing world, where close to two billion people remain off the grid, lighting, or the lack thereof, impacts health, education, safety, security, economics of the end user, agricultural productivity, the environment and overall quality of life. For more information, please see www.sunnightsolar.com or www.bogolight.com.
This article is for informational purposes. Ideas expressed or products displayed on the website or in other TIDES/STAR-TIDES activities should not be considered as endorsed by anyone else; including the USG, nor should they be considered any form of commitment.
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