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Cheap mass solar energy Answered

I am going on a trip to mexico to build houses for poor families. I was wondering, is there any solution to lighting where our team could make multiple packages that we could give to the families that would supply them with light, etc. ?

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11010010110 (author)2008-10-07

LED arrays etc can give quite awesome light Buy cheap components online and i think the locals and especially kids there would be >happy to make there own lights with your instruction

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PKM (author)2008-10-06

Remember to go for the simplest solution you can- something like solar tube skylights could reduce the need for daytime lighting and would be a sensible addition to new build houses, and they are a helluva lot cheaper than PV panels, batteries, charge controllers etc.

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NachoMahma (author)PKM2008-10-06

. Excellent point. I was assuming nighttime use - tunnel vision.

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Big Bwana (author)2008-10-06

And consider talking to the guys/ gals over at http://www.lutw.org They have been making and donating solar powered light solutions for the third world for a few years now....

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NachoMahma (author)2008-10-05

. At it's simplest, all you need is a photovoltaic cell, a battery, and a lamp/LED. Can be made cheaply if you're only lighting a small area. You will need a way to prevent overcharging the battery or sending too much current to the lamp/LED, but that's pretty easy and cheap. . PV cells last a long time and LEDs last almost forever. Battery life will be the limiting factor. The ppl that receive the units will need new batteries every few years. . . I suggest contacting the ppl that make/sell solar powered lighting systems, explain to them what you are doing, and ask them to donate units (or sell them to you at reduced price).

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