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Developing the Next Generation Solar Lantern

EWB and MEng research project investigating the success of the Glowstar Solar Lantern and developing a next generation lantern
Chris White
Pembroke College Cambridge University May 2010

Supervisor: Dr P R Palmer Partner: Practical Action

1 Abstract

Worldwide 1.6 billion people live without access to electricity, relying on expensive and dangerous kerosene lanterns for light after dark. Kerosene for lighting can absorb up to 15% of household income and produces very poor quality light. Grid expansion is expensive and happening very slowly and so a new solution was sought. In 2003 the Glowstar lantern was released to market. Developed by Practical Action Consulting (formerly ITC) and produced and distributed by solar company Sollatek Ltd, it was designed to serve the world’s poorest people by providing low cost, high quality lighting to eliminate the need to kerosene lanterns. The Glowstar is a solar charged compact fluorescent lantern that continues to sell worldwide but it has never enjoyed the success that was anticipated and has not spread as far as the need for improved lighting. This project investigates the reasons for Glowstar’s level of success using Kenya as a case study for the global situation seeks to design and prototype a lantern design that can meet the needs of the target market more successfully. The Glowstar is widely regarded in Kenya as a high quality, high performance product. There are some issues with the battery life that have degraded its reputation though underperformance but it is a rugged and durable product and backed by Sollatek’s excellent 5 year guarantee. In Kenya however it has never made major inroads in the rural mass market due to its high price that puts it beyond the reach of a large portion of the target market and because of the limited geographic reach of the distribution network in Kenya that is concentrated around provincial capitals but does not penetrate into the countryside. Selling innovative products to the rural mass market requires a significant marketing effort that has been lacking from the Glowstar project with the high impact marketing coming through face to face training and hands on experience of the products. Possible methods to improve penetration of the rural market include utilizing the mobile phone distribution network that has grown at phenomenal rates in recent years, partnering with micro-credit agencies to provide members with access to credit and training on the product or building an extensive network of agents in towns and villages who are knowledgeable about the product. The price of the lantern, at around $150 represents a significant investment for the average rural person and is regarded by both users and distributers as too expensive. A common consensus for a viable price is around $50. 2

The requirements for a solar lantern have changed little since the Glowstar was developed and there is still great interest in lanterns. The key requirements for a lantern are a run-time of at least 6 hours, cost below $50 and provide sufficient light to illuminate a 4x4m room comfortably. To meet these requirements the advances in technology were assessed and a system based on White high brightness LEDs and NiMH batteries is proposed. The system is designed to be highly modular with each module being self contained and able to interface with a wide range of alternative products. The intention is that the solar lantern is the first step on the energy ladder and that a household will, at some point in the future, wish to upgrade their system to higher powers and more capable. The philosophy behind the concept for the lantern is that the modules should be capable of integrating into a higher power system seamlessly while still operating efficiently as a baseline system. The system was prototypes performed well, proving that the concept is feasible. It utilizes switch mode DC-DC converters in the lamp module and the battery module to allow a wide range of input voltages and power while regulating the outputs to optimize performance. The prototype cost in the region of $65 to produce falling to $55 for 1000 units. The off-grid lighting sector is in a phase of rapid development and there are many exciting opportunities for new lantern developments at this time if they are able to perform and are combined with an effective marketing and distribution mechanism.

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2 Contents
1 2 3 4 5 Abstract............................................................................................................................... 1 Contents.............................................................................................................................. 4 Table of Figures .................................................................................................................. 6 Table of Tables .................................................................................................................... 6 Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 7 5.1 Solar Lanterns .............................................................................................................. 7 5.2 Glowstar background .................................................................................................. 8 5.3 Current situation ......................................................................................................... 8 5.4 Technology advances .................................................................................................. 9 5.5 Opportunities .............................................................................................................. 9 Methodology ...................................................................................................................... 9 6.1 Glowstar ...................................................................................................................... 9 6.1.1 UK based research ............................................................................................. 10 6.1.2 Kenya based research ........................................................................................ 10 6.2 Next generation lantern ............................................................................................ 12 Glowstar research results ................................................................................................. 12 7.1 Performance .............................................................................................................. 12 7.1.1 Technical assessment......................................................................................... 12 7.1.2 Distributors ........................................................................................................ 13 7.1.3 Users .................................................................................................................. 13 7.2 Sales........................................................................................................................... 14 7.2.1 Sollatek............................................................................................................... 14 7.2.2 Distributors ........................................................................................................ 15 7.3 Market ....................................................................................................................... 15 7.4 Cost ............................................................................................................................ 16 7.5 Distribution................................................................................................................ 16 7.6 Marketing .................................................................................................................. 17 7.7 Service ....................................................................................................................... 17 7.8 Perceptions................................................................................................................ 18 7.8.1 Industry experts ................................................................................................. 18 7.8.2 Users .................................................................................................................. 18 7.9 Impacts ...................................................................................................................... 18 7.10 Competition and alternatives ................................................................................... 19 7.10.1 Market condition ............................................................................................... 19 7.10.2 Wider market ..................................................................................................... 20 7.11 Requirements for a lantern ....................................................................................... 21 Discussion and implications of research .......................................................................... 21 8.1 Success of Glowstar ................................................................................................... 21 8.1.1 Factor and opinions of success .......................................................................... 21 8.1.2 Successes and failures........................................................................................ 22 8.2 Competition............................................................................................................... 24 Conclusions about Glowstar ............................................................................................. 24 9.1 Reliability of information and conclusions ................................................................ 24 9.2 Degree of success ...................................................................................................... 24 9.3 Potential improvements............................................................................................ 25 4

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9.3.1 Product ............................................................................................................... 25 9.3.2 Distribution ........................................................................................................ 25 9.3.3 Marketing ........................................................................................................... 26 9.4 Other products .......................................................................................................... 26 9.5 Opportunities ............................................................................................................ 27 10 Next generation lantern development ............................................................................. 27 10.1 Requirements ............................................................................................................ 27 10.2 Technology options ................................................................................................... 27 10.2.1 Batteries ............................................................................................................. 27 10.2.2 Light Sources ...................................................................................................... 29 10.3 Technical considerations ........................................................................................... 30 10.3.1 LED light source.................................................................................................. 30 10.3.2 NiMH Batteries................................................................................................... 31 10.4 Proposed solution ..................................................................................................... 32 10.4.1 Conceptual ......................................................................................................... 32 10.4.2 Technical ............................................................................................................ 33 Testing .................................................................................................................................. 35 10.4.3 Circuits ............................................................................................................... 35 10.4.4 Light bulbs .......................................................................................................... 37 11 Discussion of design process ............................................................................................ 38 11.1 Effectiveness of design .............................................................................................. 38 11.1.1 Output ................................................................................................................ 38 11.1.2 Efficiency ............................................................................................................ 39 11.2 Relevance to the problem ......................................................................................... 39 11.2.1 Performance ...................................................................................................... 39 11.2.2 Cost .................................................................................................................... 39 11.2.3 Usability ............................................................................................................. 40 11.3 Limitations ................................................................................................................. 40 11.4 Manufacture.............................................................................................................. 40 12 Conclusions ....................................................................................................................... 41 12.1 Further developments............................................................................................... 42 13 The Future ........................................................................................................................ 42 13.1 Opportunities ............................................................................................................ 42 13.2 Challenges ................................................................................................................. 43 14 Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................... 43 15 Bibliography ...................................................................................................................... 44 16 Appendices ....................................................................................................................... 45 16.1 Risk Assessment Retrospective ................................................................................. 45 16.2 Appendix A – Glowstar specification ........................................................................ 46 16.3 Appendix B ................................................................................................................ 47 16.4 Appendix C: Design Specification for next generation lantern ................................. 48 16.5 Appendix D: Lamp Schematic .................................................................................... 49 16.6 Appendix E: Battery Module Schematic.................................................................... 49 16.7 Appendix F: Cost breakdown for lantern design....................................................... 50 16.8 Appendix G: Circuit detail ......................................................................................... 51 16.9 Appendix H: Light bulb light distribution .................................................................. 52

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3 Table of Figures
Figure 1 Glowstar Lantern ......................................................................................................... 8 Figure 2 Distribution model for Glowstar in Kenya ................................................................. 16 Figure 3 Barefoot Power marketing strategy .......................................................................... 17 Figure 4 Two examples of first generation lanterns on sale in Kenya. Energiser (left) and Klassique (Right)....................................................................................................................... 20 Figure 5 the history of the development of LEDs and other light sources (Osram, 2010) ...... 29 Figure 6 Ideas for providing 360 degree spread of light from LEDs ........................................ 30 Figure 7 Charge voltage and temperature of NiMH (GP Batteries) ......................................... 31 Figure 8 Function diagram of the next generation concept .................................................... 32 Figure 9 Functional diagram of the Lamp module................................................................... 33 Figure 10 Functional diagram of the microcontroller code ..................................................... 34 Figure 11 Functional diagram of the Battery module ............................................................. 34 Figure 12 Lamp module ........................................................................................................... 35 Figure 13 Output of Buck MOS switch at 1.6Mhz.................................................................... 36 Figure 14 Graph showing Lamp module output characteristics.............................................. 35 Figure 15 Buck converter switch output .................................................................................. 35 Figure 16 Battery Module ........................................................................................................ 36 Figure 18 Graph of SEPIC output power against duty cycle .................................................... 36 Figure 17 Graph showing SEPIC converter efficiency .............................................................. 36 Figure 20 Light distribution for Phillips bulb ............................................................................ 37 Figure 19 Phillips bulb .............................................................................................................. 37 Figure 23 Light distribution for short 30° bulb ........................................................................ 38 Figure 21 Light distribution for phosphor coated bulb ........................................................... 38 Figure 22 Short 30° bulb .......................................................................................................... 38 Figure 24 Glowstar and next generation lantern side by side ................................................. 40

4 Table of Tables
Table 1 sources of information during Kenya fieldwork.......................................................... 11 Table 2 Solar Lantern sales from Uchumi Supermarket, Meru Town during 2009 ................. 15 Table 3 List price for Glowstar lanterns in Kenya with estimates of US Dollar equivalent ..... 16 Table 4 Glowstar warranty period ........................................................................................... 17 Table 5 Example prices of off grid power systems in Kenya.................................................... 20 Table 6 Key characteristics of battery types ............................................................................ 28 Table 7 Potential light sources for a solar lantern ................................................................... 29

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5 Introduction
This report deals with two sections of related work, the first is investigating the Glowstar lantern and assessing its impact and success and the second is developing a next generation lantern.

5.1 Solar Lanterns
Worldwide 1.7 billion people live without access to electricity with rural access rates as low as 2% in some countries (Lighting Africa). Those without access to electricity rely on kerosene lamps, candles and battery powered torches to provide light at night. The quality of these light sources is poor and the running costs are high, consuming valuable cash from limited household budgets, accounting for 10 – 15% amongst the poorest households (Lighting Africa). In addition the burning of kerosene produces smoke that is harmful to health and poses a significant fire risk within the home. The provision of electric lighting can provide a boost to families attempting to break away from poverty through increased productivity resulting from an extended working day, enabling children to study effectively after dark, reducing expenditure on consumables and improving the health of the whole family. Grid expansion is expensive, especially into rural areas where the distances are large and the population density is small resulting in very slow progress. ‘By 2000, Kenya Power and Lighting’s rural electrification programme had reached less than 70,000 households (about 2% of the population) after 15 years of activity.’ (Hankins, 2001). As a result it will take many years for the grid to reach all people, if indeed it ever does, therefore a different solution needs to be found to extend access to electricity and one method is the use of photovoltaic systems. Photovoltaic (PV) systems are well suited to applications in the developing world as much of the developing world receives high levels of insolation. In addition PV systems can be low maintenance and installed in a variety of situations. The main drawback in this context is the price which is falling as the global market develops but is still high, especially when compared to the income levels of the poorest people. The challenges with the cost of PV systems can be combated through the development of small scale PV appliances dubbed ‘micro’ or ‘Pico PV’ that can be produced at a cost that is compatible with rural household income in developing countries. The solar lantern is one example of this that offers the potential to meet this large market. 7

5.2 Glowstar background
The Glowstar lantern was developed between 1997 and 2003 by Practical Action Consulting, the consultancy arm of Practical Action, formerly Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Practical Action is a development charity founded on E.F Schumacher’s philosophy of ‘Small is beautiful’ (Schumacher, 1973) that ‘works to find practical solutions to poverty’ through the application of appropriate technology (Practical Action). The Glowstar lantern (Figure 1) was designed to provide high quality, reliable and low cost lighting to rural households in developing countries, replacing kerosene lanterns and candles. The lantern was designed as a first step on the energy ladder and it was recognised that this is not a long term solution to energy access for rural poor but a good short term measure to improve lives. It was developed by Practical Action Consulting and transferred to Sollatek, a UK based company specialising in solar energy amongst other products (Sollatek (UK) Ltd), for further development, manufacture and distribution. The partnership with Sollatek allowed the lantern to be produced and distributed worldwide through the company’s existing distribution network. The Glowstar is designed as a high performance, rugged and reliable lantern that can be charged from Solar, the grid or a vehicle. The light source is a compact fluorescent lamp with a sealed lead acid battery for energy storage and an external solar module. The Glowstar is available in two models the GS5 and the GS7 (also called the Glowstar Basic and Glowstar Plus). The main differences between the models are the inclusion of an auxiliary output on the GS7 to allow for phone charging or powering a radio, the power of the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and the battery capacity. The specification for each model is included in Appendix A. The Glowstar lantern typically sells for around US$100 without a solar module, rising to US$150 with a solar module.
Figure 1 Glowstar Lantern

5.3 Current situation
The current level of electricity access remains largely unchanged globally. Within this environment the Glowstar lantern continues to be produced and sold worldwide but with 8

sales volumes of tens of thousands not the hundreds of thousands anticipated and the lantern has not reached as far as the need. The aim of this project is to investigate the reasons for this underperformance of the Glowstar lantern and potential solutions to improve the penetration of off grid electricity availability.

5.4 Technology advances
Since the launch of Glowstar there have been some significant advances in technology that could be applied to this field including batteries and light sources. Perhaps the most exciting of these is the development of the high power white LED that offers the option of solid state general lighting.

5.5 Opportunities
There are many opportunities in this area and in recent years a significant focus has been placed upon off grid lighting for developing countries from many organisations including commercial, charitable and governmental. This has resulted in the development of new products for the market and a greater understanding of the requirements through ongoing research which are being made available to ease access into the market. On the back of all of this there is great potential to be explored in the development of a next generation lantern that could better meet the needs of the rural poor communities who would benefit from access to improved lighting.

6 Methodology
The work in this project falls broadly into two areas, firstly the investigation of the Glowstar project and secondly the development of a new lantern. This is reflected in the structure of this report where the two areas are dealt with separately with the flow of useful information from the first section to the second.

6.1 Glowstar
The aim of this part of the project was to understand the development, manufacture, distribution and support of the Glowstar lantern and identify factors contributing to its commercial success and social impact. To achieve these two areas of research were undertaken, in the UK utilising published documents and information from people involved

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with the lantern and in Kenya to gather information from people marketing, distributing and using the lanterns in the environment for which they were designed. 6.1.1 UK based research The main focus of the UK based research was on documents, papers and reports produced relating to Glowstar and off grid lighting in general. The Glowstar project was well documented by Practical Action including honest post project assessment. The aim of this project is to build on this assessment with the benefit of hindsight and seven years of commercial release of the lantern. In addition information was gathered from those involved in the development including Practical Action and DFID, it must however be stated that this information was given informally but provides an insight into opinions held about the Glowstar Project. Research into the off grid lighting market in general helped to provide a context in which specific research in Kenya could be based. There are several organisations that are actively researching and publishing information relating to developing world off gird lighting. The main organisations doing this are Lighting Africa and the Lumina Project as well as other smaller contributors. 6.1.2 Kenya based research Work in Kenya is a vital part of this research as it is vital to maintain a focus on the people for which the product is designed as argued eloquently by Schumacher in ‘Small is Beautiful’ (Schumacher, 1973). It would be impossible to evaluate the lanterns success without input from users, potential users and experts who understand the market. Kenya was the obvious choice for a study location as it was the location of the original market research and development activities for the Glowstar Lantern. The aim therefore of travelling to Kenya was to gather opinions of Glowstar and develop better understanding of the off-grid lighting market. Due to the time and resource constraints of this project a large quantitative study of opinions, attitudes and experiences was not possible, instead a range of opinions was gathered through discussions and interviews across the range of stakeholders in the Glowstar distribution network and the off grid lighting market. The structure of the research visit is outlined in Table 1.

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Group Sollatek Africa

Details

Research

East The East Africa branch of Sollatek Interview with the regional sales manager for who have exclusive rights to import Nairobi covering distribution, marketing, of the Glowstar Lantern in East sales performance and product performance Africa and therefore control the distribution network within Kenya.

Solar product Nairobi based companies that sell Interviews agents distributers / and distribute through the their

with

representatives

who

Glowstar understand the product and the market. outlets General points covered include sales

Lantern

alongside other solar products.

performance,

customers,

product

performance and potential improvements. Local reseller Small local shops selling Glowstar Two elements looked at, firstly a survey of off alongside other products. Also grid lighting and solar products on sale and including supermarkets that stock secondly Glowstar. covering product interviews sales with shop owners

performance, and

customers, potential

performance

improvements of the Glowstar. Glowstar Users Owners and users of Glowstar, Interviews covering lantern performance and both individuals and organisations features, cost and value, other lighting e.g. charities, schools, health sources, overall opinion and potential

centres. Users were beneficiaries improvements of Practical Action and Rotary sponsored distribution of lanterns. Other off grid Other companies producing solar Discussion with a representative of Barefoot lighting companies lighting products for off grid Power applications covering their product range,

distribution and marketing strategies, the solar lighting market and opinions of Glowstar.

Related non- NGOs and charities operating in Discussions covering the off grid market, commercial organisations Kenya to promote the uptake of off solar products available, distribution and grid lighting including solar marketing, Opinions on Glowstar and

lanterns.
Table 1 sources of information during Kenya fieldwork

potential improvements

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6.2 Next generation lantern
The research into Glowstar provides a good background to a product development exercise to design a new lantern to meet the needs identified. In addition to this new technology options for achieving solar lighting need to be identified followed by a standard design process for a new lantern. Research into technological advancements fed into the requirements identified by the Glowstar research to form the basis of the design stage. The design work focused mainly on the enabling technology rather than the form of the final product but various concepts were explored and developed and the final design is intended to enable the preferred concept.

7 Glowstar research results
The information gathered from the sources set out above provided impressions of Glowstar from a broad range of parties. Inevitably there is considerable variation in the experiences and opinions within this range however there were common themes and significant correlations that can be identified. The following section aims to identify both the range of opinions and the common themes within them.

7.1 Performance
7.1.1 Technical assessment The most rigorous assessment of the technical performance of the Glowstar in comparison to other solar lanterns on the market has been conducted by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technishe Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) who are a German ‘federally owned organisation working worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development’ (GTZ). Their study ‘Solar Lanterns Test: Shades of Light’ (Grüner, et al., 2009) compared 12 solar lanterns from a variety of manufacturers including the Glowstar GS7. Each lantern was subjected to a variety of tests including quality of workmanship, functionality, light output and costs with scores being awarded for each of the 20 test undertaken. The Glowstar fared poorly in results of this assessment, being placed 7th out of the 12 lanterns tested. The ‘Glowstar was criticised for wrongly designed circuitry’ and scored poorly on efficiency, run time and deviation from specifications. The report concluded that ‘The Glowstar failed both the technical test and in terms of value for money. This unusually

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heavy and cumbersome lantern was a pioneer of the market sector, but exhibits defects in workmanship and offers only a poor solar fraction and modest light duration.’ 7.1.2 Distributors The opinions of distributers and other industry experts vary as to the performance and quality of the Glowstar. In general however the lantern is viewed as a high quality product that performs well and has a good light output while being easy to use. “Nice quality ... the product sells itself” (Distributor) “Glowstar is very good quality” (Industry Profesional) The Glowstar compares favourably to other solar lanterns in light output with many alternatives providing less light with poorer battery lifetimes. Some consider the light output to be excessive and too bright with one story of a lady being scared by the brightness of the lantern. The batteries normally last two to three years before requiring replacement and lanterns are rarely returned with problems. Commonly identified problems with the Glowstar relate to the duration of light and the lifetime of the battery. Many people identified that the duration of light after a full day’s charge was often disappointing to customers and declined as the product aged. The lifetime of the battery before it failed completely was also a common cause of disappointment with customers. Estimates for the light duration on a full charge tended to start off at five to six hours but declined to less than four within a year. Examples of battery life have been as short as one year before replacement was required. In contrast, examples of lanterns that have continued to operate for six years without the need for service or replacement parts have also been reported. More minor problems have been reported include incorrect battery status indication, switches sinking into the lantern body and poor life of the CFL tubes. 7.1.3 Users The experience of users of the Glowstar lantern varies in a similar way to the distributers with some users being delighted by its performance while other are rather disappointed. Once again the general impression is that the lantern is regarded as a good quality and high performance product that meets the user’s requirements very well. “The light output is very good, it is “quite ok” for reading by and will fill the whole room.” (User) 13

“The lanterns were very good at the beginning. They provided light from 7pm till 2am on a full charge. The light produced was bright white light that had no effect on the eyes and allowed people to read or work at night without eye problems.”(User) The main frustration with the lantern is the degradation of performance that is often experienced over time. The most significant of these seem to be reduced operation time on a full charge and battery failure. “The lantern does not now work well, it only works when connected to the panel and this is temperamental, sometimes there is light but sometimes there is not.”(User) From the small sample of users that were interviewed during this research most seemed to get around two years of operation at the advertised levels before performance decreased. “After two or three years the lanterns provided three to four hours of light after a full day charging and after four years no light was produced at all. All the lanterns stopped working in the same year.”(User) “At first the lantern was very nice and provided around 5 hours of light. After two years the light time had reduced.”(User)

7.2 Sales
As described in the introduction the sales of Glowstar globally since its launch in 2003 have been disappointingly low. It has not been possible to acquire accurate sales figures but Practical Action estimates, based on royalty payments from Sollatek, indicate that the level is tens of thousands per year worldwide not the hundreds of thousands that was anticipated. The distributers in Kenya were a little more forthcoming with information about the level of sales of the lantern. 7.2.1 Sollatek Samwel Odhiambo, the regional sales manager for Sollatek in Nairobi claims that Glowstar enjoys around a 20% market share of solar lanterns in Kenya, a level that Sollatek are happy with. He estimated that Sollatek sell around 100 Glowstar lanterns per month in Kenya, mainly in Nairobi (“61 out of 100 last month”). Sales levels have decreased slightly since the launch of the lantern, which is attributed to the emergence of counterfeit products from China.

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7.2.2 Distributors The general message from distributers is that sales of Glowstar lanterns are low in comparison to alternative products and have declined in recent years. “Sales have declined significantly on three years ago. They are now at around 10% of those levels.”(Distributer) “Sold in greater numbers when launched...no longer popular” (Sales Outlet) Table 2 shows the sales figures for Uchumi Supermarket in Meru town, Kenya. Uchumi was the only major supermarket chains in Kenya where the Glowstar was found with examples in most of the stores visited around the country. It is worth noting that without exception the Glowstar lanterns on the shelves in were old, dating back to 2006 and covered in dust. The sales figures shown support this observation. Further details of the lanterns listed can be found in appendix B.
Lantern Glowstar GS7 Osram Eveready RC102 Klassique LED Energiser emergency lantern Energiser RC105 (Round) Windsor emergency light 1745 2200 2000 1990 Price (Ksh) 7345 3000 Number sold 0 1 8 1 6 10 2

Table 2 Solar Lantern sales from Uchumi Supermarket, Meru Town during 2009

7.3 Market
The sale of Glowstar lanterns is dominated by NGO’s, typically working in remote locations including South Sudan and Northern Kenya. Sales to the individual consumers on the mass market are very small. Distributers report that they get repeat business from NGOs who are looking for replacement lanterns or lanterns for a new location. The suggested reason for this is that NGOs working in remote areas value the reliability and robustness of the Glowstar lantern and have the money available to buy them. “Sales are now at 40 to 50% of original levels as a result of demand from NGOs falling. Sales to the mass market have never been significant.”(Distributer)

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7.4 Cost
The list price for a Glowstar lantern in Kenya is set by Sollatek Kenya; they sell at trade prices to distributers but at list price to consumers. The list price is shown in Table 3 (Sollatek (Kenya) Ltd, 2009).
Lantern model Recommended solar Lantern list price module Glowstar (GS5) Glowstar (GS7) Plus 9Wp Basic 6Wp 7,200Ksh US$100 10,100Ksh US$150 Solar module list Total price price 3,300Ksh US$50 5,000Ksh US$70 10,500Ksh US$150 15,100Ksh US$220

Table 3 List price for Glowstar lanterns in Kenya with estimates of US Dollar equivalent

The current cost of Glowstar has remained constant for several years and is significantly above the cost that was anticipated by Practical Action during its development and the price indicated as acceptable by the market research for Glowstar of US$75 including the solar module (ITC Ltd, 2003). There was almost universal agreement that the Glowstar lantern is too expensive and that this is the major obstacle to higher sales and wider market penetration, especially in the consumer market and amongst rural poor. Suggestions for a reasonable cost for a Glowstar lantern including a solar module ranged from 1,500Ksh to 8,000Ksh but a figure of 3,000Ksh (US$50) was the around the average and quoted by the majority of those asked across the whole range of stakeholder.

7.5 Distribution
The distribution model for Glowstar in Kenya is outlined in Figure 2. The distribution chain is controlled by Sollatek Kenya as the only authorised importer of Glowstar for East Africa. Provincial distributors are located throughout the country in the regional capitals but their presence is imited in small towns and villages.

Sollatek UK

Sollatek Kenya

Provincial Distributors

Community Groups

Retail units

End users
Figure 2 Distribution model for Glowstar in Kenya

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Feedback from users and community organisations suggests that the distribution channels do not extend close enough to the rural consumers. This limits their access to the product and to after sales service and spare parts and inherently limits the penetration of the rural market. Several of the users interviewed had non-functional lanterns but had not taken them for service due to the long distances to service centres.

7.6 Marketing
The main target market for Glowstar is NGOs as they have the money available for purchase. As a result of this there is little marketing effort undertaken to the mass market. Methods that are employed include partnering with NGOs and community organisations to promote the product and educate people about the benefits of solar lanterns and partnering with banks and credit schemes to ease money restrictions on potential customers. The biggest focus in marketing is on face to face training to create awareness. Experience from other solar lighting companies and NGOs promoting solar lighting is that raising awareness of the products and training people about the benefits is the best way to grow demand amongst the rural poor target market, and the best way to do this is through face to face contact. One strategy employed by Barefoot Power and Solar Aid is outlined in Figure 3. Use existing distributors and shops to provide local access to the product
Figure 3 Barefoot Power marketing strategy

Mobilise Leaders “Tell them the good news about our product” Train in the use of the product Provide examples for them to use and test Encourage them to spread the news in their communities

7.7 Service
Sollatek’s reputation for after sales service in Kenya is excellent and the company appears to be committed to the Glowstar warranty (Table 4). This level of warranty is unusual in Kenya where many products are sold without any warranty and cheap, poorly manufactured products
Part Lantern Battery CFL bulb Warranty period 5 years 2 years 6 month

Table 4 Glowstar warranty period

are commonplace. This is a very strong selling point of the Glowstar lantern. 17

To obtain repairs under warranty the product must be returned to Sollatek at the expense of the owner, as discussed above this can be a considerable expense due to the limited geographic spread of service centres. Outside of warranty replacement batteries cost 1000-1800Ksh and CFLs around 500Ksh however neither is commonly available away from service centres.

7.8 Perceptions
7.8.1 Industry experts The Glowstar is generally regarded as a high performance product amongst industry experts partly due to the good light output and the long warranty that is offered. Opinions vary however, with many aspects of the design and performance detracting from the positive image. The performance issues related to the battery life have damaged the reputation of the Glowstar and affected its sales as customers move to new products. In addition the lantern is big and heavy, with a large solar module that limits the portability although the design offers robustness and a good spread of light. The cost is a major constraint to sales. The inclusion of additional features, especially mobile phone charging is a great bonus to the product. LEDs are considered to be an improvement as they are perceived as brighter and more efficient than CFLs. 7.8.2 Users The general response from users of the Glowstar to its design was positive with the lantern considered attractive, easy to use and rugged. The lighting performance (output and duration) was expressed as the most important criteria for the lantern rather than its appearance or additional features. The ability to charge a mobile phone was identified as a useful additional feature but a recurrent message was that a simple lantern that works well is better than lots of features that are unreliable.

7.9 Impacts
The Glowstar lantern has had a number of impacts in the area of off grid lighting which are potentially much wider reaching than simply providing lighting solutions to poor rural people. The project successfully developed a good quality lantern that was taken on by a private company and marketed worldwide. This has been an experiment in partnerships of 18

this nature which will provide interesting lessons for the future. The direct social impact of the lantern on poor rural people has been very limited due to poor market penetration; however where the product has been used within this market users reported that the lantern was very useful and replaced kerosene for lighting. In addition to this most of the users interviewed for this research now have alternative supplies of electricity installed either from a solar system or mains. This is not a strong basis for conclusions without further research but appears to suggest that the Glowstar lantern was a first step on the energy ladder. The lantern has been used extensively by NGOs in remote areas and continues to sell today in significant numbers worldwide. The Glowstar was one of the first lanterns designed for this market and as such played a role in establishing the market that has continued to develop. No official reports by DFID are available however the experience of the Glowstar development was apparently viewed as a total failure by some staff at DFID and perhaps had an impact on future funding decisions in related areas. The original intention was for the lantern to be manufactured in Kenya in keeping with the philosophy of Small is Beautiful (Schumacher, 1973) advocating local manufacture of appropriate technology. This aim was later abandoned on practical and economic grounds but provides an interesting experiment in the application of this philosophy. The current aim of most organisations involved in off grid lighting is to provide lights to the maximum number of people possible rather that to develop local industry resulting in the majority of products being produced in China.

7.10 Competition and alternatives
7.10.1 Market condition The solar market in Kenya is well established and growing with a high level of awareness of solar power. The extent of the grid is limited with poor reliability and high costs. This combined with a growing awareness of environmental concerns has led to a high level of enthusiasm for solar power. The government has responded to support the market by introducing strict import standards and rigorous checks to ensure that products are not substandard and has removed VAT (16%) from solar products.

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The solar market in Kenya “is very price sensitive and consumers have short memories” (Chege, 2009) about products. 7.10.2 Wider market The wider off grid lighting market is quite broad incorporating solar lanterns, solar home systems and fuel based generators as well as traditional kerosene lamps and candles. In addition new schemes are being trialled based on an energy kiosk idea where energy is bought as a product from a central kiosk, mini grids covering one village and generating local power from alternative fuels e.g. biogas. Example prices for some alternative systems are shown in Table 5.
Product Solar module and battery Full solar home system (installed) Generator Hurricane lantern Details The most basic type can consist of a 14Wp panel and 50Ah. Including solar module, battery, charge controller, lights and installation Running on petrol or diesel Traditional enclosed kerosene lantern Price 7995Ksh (offer from Chloride Exide) 25,000Ksh to 90,000Ksh and upwards for very large systems 10,000Ksh to 70,000Ksh 300 – 500Ksh

Table 5 Example prices of off grid power systems in Kenya

The solar lantern market is also developing rapidly with two generations of lantern evident. The first generation, contemporaries of Glowstar, tend to be large CFL and lead acid based lanterns. The new generation of solar lighting is emerging on the market now and is often LED based with a range of prices and power options. The companies producing the new generation include number of social enterprises that have been established to tackle the problem of providing modern lighting to rural people; examples include Barefoot Power and Tough Stuff Solar, but also include some big corporate names including Phillips and Osram. There is a wide variety of lanterns available in Kenya, however only a small number are equipped with solar charging. Few outlets stock solar lanterns, mainly specialist solar shops however this is beginning to change with the companies mentioned above actively pursuing the rural mass market. Current lanterns (usually mains charging) cover a wide range of prices and performance and include both compact fluorescent and LEDs as the light source. A couple of typical lantern designs are shown in Figure 4, one CFL and one LED. Many new generation solar lights make use of LEDs although often for task light or small home systems. Lighting 20
Figure 4 Two examples of first generation lanterns on sale in Kenya. Energiser (left) and Klassique (Right)

Africa has recently announced the winners of their ‘Best off-grid lighting products in SubSaharan Africa’ (Lighting Africa, 2010), the winners are shown in Appendix B. There appear to be no lanterns that have a Glowstar type design (portable room lighting) that use LEDs and provide high quality light of a comparable level.

7.11 Requirements for a lantern
It would seem that little has changed to the requirements for a solar lantern since the market research was carried out for the Glowstar except for the desire for six hours of light. Detailed market research by Lighting Africa (Lighting Africa, 2008) and this project research have led to the summary of key requirements as follows:        Provide light for 6 hours on a day’s solar charge Light a whole room (based on rooms 4x4m) sufficiently to undertake a range of activities in the room Enable light to be used in multiple rooms/locations Price should be below $50 (US) Lantern must be chargeable from solar PV Lantern should look and feel of high quality Lantern life should be a minimum of two years with no servicing

8 Discussion and implications of research
8.1 Success of Glowstar
The stated aim of the Glowstar development project was to “Develop, produce and market an affordable, reliable micro solar lantern in Kenya, meeting the needs of large numbers of poor rural people for better quality cheaper lighting” (ITC Ltd, 2003). 8.1.1 Factor and opinions of success It is important at this stage to consider the requirements and factors for success. The impacts of Glowstar has had impacts that do not directly achieve its purpose and have had knock on effects that are difficult to analyse. As a result it would be inappropriate to label the Glowstar project as a success or failure based purely on sales performance and market penetration but rather more appropriate to consider the elements of Glowstar’s impact.

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8.1.2 Successes and failures On a basic level of direct benefit to poor rural people the project cannot be classed as a success based on experience in Kenya. The lantern has failed to reach the target market in any significant numbers and has been effectively out of the reach of the intended customers. The main reason contributing to this must be the cost, which places the lantern outside the financial reach of even average income rural people let alone the poorest and even with the availability of credit schemes it may still not accessible. A GS5 lantern is equal to the average household monthly income and if directly replacing a kerosene lamp (typical running costs are US$2.80 to US$8.06 per month for a simple wick lamp and hurricane lantern respectively (Lighting Africa, 2008)) it has a payback period of 18 months to four and a half years. This is clearly a very high capital outlay and significant payback period for the target market and the maintenance requirement of batteries and bulbs provides additional cost within this payback period. Penetration of the target market is also hindered by the distribution network in Kenya which does not bring the product close enough to the intended customers and a marketing strategy that seems to have abandoned the mass market, with its great marketing challenges and high workload, in favour of the lucrative and easier NGO sector. The project has successfully produced a high quality product that is very well suited to the intended purpose, with the caveats about battery performance outlined previously. This is highlighted by the continuing sales and demand from NGOs for use in remote areas where reliability is of high importance. The project also explored a new market segment when it was developed, being the first to specifically target the poor rural mass market, and therefore helped highlight the need and opportunities in this sector through the high profile coverage that the project enjoyed (ITC Ltd, 2003) and (ITC, 2001). This is likely to have played a part in promoting the development of the market sector to what is now a very active industry and therefore in an indirect way has helped improve access to modern lighting in the rural mass market. Lessons learnt from Glowstar will also informed subsequent developments of lanterns by other organisations yielding better products. The danger of high profile coverage of Glowstar is that it may have caused disillusion amongst stakeholders and interested groups, for example DFID, as the investment did not result in direct success on the stated aims. There is also the possibility of wider market spoiling by products that do not perform to their expected levels. 22

It is an interesting experiment in collaboration between charity and private enterprise that offers points to guide future developments. The partnership between Practical Action and Sollatek clearly brought many advantages to the Glowstar project, not least the quick and easy access to manufacturing capability and distribution networks worldwide. This will have significantly sped up the entry of Glowstar to market and reduced the work involved in getting it there but also introduced compromises in the philosophy behind the product. As highlighted in the Glowstar Final Report (ITC Ltd, 2003) the primary aims of development organisations and private enterprise are fundamentally different, with the former seeking to improve lives while the latter is more concerned with profit. This is evident with Glowstar which lost the pro-poor focus when control was transferred to Sollatek with the result of a high market price and limited the market penetration. Sollatek have focused on higher margins at low sales rather than mass sales. To effectively and sustainably market this type of product requires the interlinking of pro-poor ethos with commercial approaches throughout the whole product lifecycle, without a transition occurring from one to the other in the middle. Several recent start-up social enterprises are experimenting with this model and producing some excellent products. The road to establish a company, manufacturing and distribution network however is long and difficult. It is also very exciting to see some big corporate companies entering the market driven by both social and commercial considerations. These companies have significant resources and experience available to develop good products and strong supply networks. The final major experiment was the aim to develop indigenous industry as well as providing affordable lighting services. This is a worthy aim for a development organisation but the project did not succeed due to the limitations of industrial capability in Kenya. This aim was abandoned late in the project, possibly causing unnecessary expenditure. It is important to identify early on what the overriding objective for a project is to be and the realities of meeting it to allow focusing of resources on achievable aims. It is interesting to note that most organisations involved in the solar lantern market now are aiming to provide the improved lighting to the maximum number of people rather than aiming for industrial development.

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8.2 Competition
As explained earlier the solar market in Kenya is well developed and growing providing a context for the position occupied by Glowstar. Sollatek have done well to maintain the image of the product as high quality, in large part due to the excellent warranty. Glowstar’s price puts it in direct competition with a basic solar home system which can be bought from around 8,000Ksh. These have the barebones components offering low performance and limited lifetime due to the absence of a charge controller but they can power lights in two rooms. When portability of light is not required two fixed lights are likely to be preferred to a single lantern. The range of second generation lanterns that are now emerging on the market is going to increase competition to Glowstar. These products are generally smaller, lighter and cheaper than Glowstar or offer greater functionality, i.e. small solar home systems.

9 Conclusions about Glowstar
9.1 Reliability of information and conclusions
It must be stressed that the results presented above are based on interviews with stakeholders in the Glowstar distribution network in Kenya and not on extensive quantitative research. The results as presented are based on common themes that were repeated by the majority of those interviewed and therefore provide a reasonable basis on which to base conclusions. These results and conclusions focus on the situation in Kenya and without further research cannot be considered representative of the global situation.

9.2 Degree of success
The Glowstar project cannot be heralded as an absolute success however neither can it be branded a complete failure. The project has elements of success within its aims, both stated and implied and potential wider consequences that will have benefitted the target market. In terms of the stated aims of the project, it has not succeeded in either directly providing affordable modern lighting to the masses or in nurturing industry in Kenya. It is highly likely that they project has indirectly contributed towards these aims through development of the sector.

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9.3 Potential improvements
With the benefit of hindsight and based on the experience of Glowstar, which provides many positive learning points, there are several recommendations for changes to the project if it were to done again. 9.3.1 Product The functional aspects of potential future lantern designs will be dealt with in more detail in the following section on next generation lantern development. However the following conclusions relate to the Glowstar specifically.  The key characteristic of the lantern is the price which must be minimise as the market is very cost sensitive. The current cost of the lantern is too high and a target of US$50 is a more acceptable price.    The light runtime needs to be guaranteed at a minimum of six hours and the lantern needs to perform consistently The appearance of the lantern was well liked but is considered large and heavy The inclusion of mobile phone charging is valued.

9.3.2 Distribution For a product to be self sustaining it needs to be sold on a commercial basis. Charity funded give-aways are inherently not and they degrade the perceived value of the product with the risk of market spoiling. To quote Tough Stuff Solar “There’s a built in feedback loop when you sell something – people only pay for something they want. That just doesn’t happen when you give things away.” (Rocky Radar, 2009). The Glowstar distribution network in place in Kenya is inadequate for rural market penetration. The product must be available locally coupled with knowledgeable advisors for effective distribution. This requires a local focus on a nationwide scale and will inevitably be labour intensive. The availability of credit will be a major boost to sales from some sections of society. Spares and servicing also need to be local to users and tie in with distribution. There are a large number of small outlets in rural towns and villages that sell electrical goods and could sell lanterns. The owners of these shops would presumably be technology aware enabling them to be trained in the basic servicing of lanterns. Accessing these small outlets will be a resource intensive task as each must be contacted and most will want to trial the products before stocking them. 25

Utilising the mobile phone distribution network is a possible solution. Mobile phones use has exploded in Kenya in recent years so the inclusion of mobile phone charging with a solar lantern provides a promising route into accessing a widespread distribution network. A subtle change in emphasis to a phone charger with attached light may be required, but the net effect is the same and mobile phone dealers are going to be technology aware providing a good basis on which to understand the product. Partnerships with micro credit agencies and community groups has been explored by the Glowstar project but could be expanded to provide an effective distribution network by combining a solution to capital availability access to large numbers of people. 9.3.3 Marketing The marketing of a lantern plays a key role in creating awareness of the product. The target market will not necessarily be technology aware, or know about the benefits the product. The purchase of a lantern will represent a significant expenditure for the household and therefore the costs and benefits need to be fully understood. Marketing in rural areas is going to be a highly resource intensive process and has strong links to the distribution network as the most effective method of marketing is likely to be face to face contact. Marketing through mass media may have some effect but this is unlikely to be able to demystify the product and its operation while sharing of personal experiences and gaining hands on experience of a product play a significant role in earning peoples. The marketing process employed by Barefoot Power is very promising (see section 6.6), where influential figures in each community are identified and introduced to the product and encouraged to share their experiences. Creating excitement about the product is important through public events as awareness of the product spreads it will begin to snowball if sufficient excitement can be created in an area.

9.4 Other products
The implications for Glowstar with the emergence of the second generation of solar lanterns will be seen over the coming years. There is a high possibility that new lanterns will take market share away from Glowstar, especially the Phillips Uday lantern that is of a similar design one third of the cost. The key to this will be the new lanterns performance compared to Glowstar. In terms of the rural mass market many of the new solar lights have the potential to perform well with appropriate marketing, distribution and support. This is an 26

exciting time for the solar lighting market in Kenya with the potential to have big impacts on peoples’ lives.

9.5 Opportunities
With the current state of the solar market in Kenya there are good opportunities for new products if they meet the needs of the market. It remains to be seen over the coming years how the new entrants to the market will perform, but until they are established the entire rural poor market remains untapped and under-served providing exciting opportunities for new lantern developments. The Kenyan Government is working to protect the solar market from substandard products. Considering the strength of the competition that is emerging with the second generation of lanterns there is little point in launching a new lantern development unless something new can be brought to the product that will enhance the benefit the user. Many NGOs promoting off-grid lighting should help stimulate and accelerate the market.

10 Next generation lantern development
10.1 Requirements
The specification for a new lantern design based on this research is included in Appendix C. The key constraints of the requirements are:  Cost – below $50 and as low as possible  Light Duration – minimum of 6 hours on a day’s charge  Easy to operate and maintain  360 degree light distribution Some industry experts felt that general room lighting, rather than directional task lighting is a higher priority for domestic users.

10.2 Technology options
10.2.1 Batteries The main battery types available are Nickel based (NiCad and NiMH), lithium based (Li-ion, Li-polymer) and Lead Acid. The key characteristics related to solar lanterns are set out in Table 6. (Buchmann, 2005)

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Type Ni-Cad

Advantages Standard sizes and commonly available High cycle life Well suited to solar charging Standard Sizes and commonly available No Toxic metals Good energy density and Low self discharge Well suited to solar charging Low self discharge No memory effect High energy Density No memory effect

Disadvantages Low energy density Heavy metal content Memory effect and high self discharge Poor performance at slow charging rates Intolerant of overcharge Moderate cycle life Bulky and heavy Low energy density Lead content – Environmental concern Custom sizes – not commonly available Complex charge control required Expensive

NiMH

Lead Acid Li-ion

Table 6 Key characteristics of battery types

NiMH batteries offer a good compromise between cost and performance with good energy density, reasonable cycle life and low self discharge in standard packages for a reasonable price. NiCad are to be avoided due to their cadmium content and potential for environmental damage is discarded and lead acid batteries are large, bulky and are not available in standard packages. Li-ion batteries are expensive and require more complex control circuitry to operate safely. The availability of NiMH in standard sizes allows for much easier replacement when the batteries reach the end of their life as they can be sourced and replaced by the owner without specialist knowledge. NiMH batteries lifetime is typically quoted by manufacturers as 500 to 1000 cycles which gives them a life of 1.5 to 3 years if charged everyday. The use of easily replaceable batteries is a trade-off between protecting performance of the lantern with a custom battery and ease of maintenance where substandard batteries could be installed that will degrade the performance of the whole product and therefore risks spoiling the reputation of the product. On balance the benefits to the user with easy maintainability outweigh the risks.

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10.2.2 Light Sources Possible light sources for a solar lantern are set out in Table 7.
Source Bioluminescence Description Microorganisms that produce light, therefore avoiding electrical parts. Requires a food source that could be provided by photosynthesis during the day. Levels of light output are very low and impractical. Phosphorescence ‘Glow in the Dark’ materials that store up light during the day and emit it at night. Levels of light output are very low and there is no control over the output. Laser with Use low powered blue or UV lasers to excite a phosphor that produces white fluorescent light. The laser could illuminate a ball of phosphor or be swept over a phosphor surface to produce more diffuse light. While potentially practical the cost of blue lasers is prohibitively high for this application starting from £120 for a 120mW laser diode. LED The development of high power white LEDs make these a potential solution CFL Compact Fluorescent lamps provide efficient white light output and are a potential solution. PHOLEDs Phosphorescent Organic LEDs have the potential to provide very high efficiency lighting (Universal Display Corporation, 2009). Thin film Sheets of PHOLED can be produced that would provide a diffuse light source instead of a point source as in conventional LEDs. The technology is not yet mature and is unfeasibly expensive.
Table 7 Potential light sources for a solar lantern

LEDs

and

CFLs

are

potential

solutions with many examples of CFL lanterns on the market. The rapid development of LEDs is illustrated in Figure 5 (Osram, 2010) and shows that the efficacy of LEDs is rising rapidly. The latest efficacy record to be announced was over 130lm/W by Cree (Electronic Products, 2010).
Figure 5 the history of the development of LEDs and other light sources (Osram, 2010)

These quoted efficacies are measured under specific laboratory conditions and do not include driver circuitry, therefore the practically obtainable efficacy will be lower however they still appear compare favourably to CFLs. LEDs they have other good features including long life (up to 100,000 hours quoted by manufacturers) and being mechanically robust. This means that they do not need to be 29

treated as a replaceable part in a lantern and can greatly reduce the maintenance burden of a product.

10.3 Technical considerations
10.3.1 LED light source The main challenge with using LEDs is that they produce directional light. This is ideally suited to task lighting but requires modifying for general room lighting with 360 degree spread of light. Some potential methods to achieve this are shown in Figure 6 and are based on the principles of non imaging optics, total internal reflection or diffusion media.

a) Based on a black hole lens. Light would be emitted mainly sideways.

b) Simple frosted bulb.

c) Phosphor coated bulb illuminated by a blue LED.

d) LED held at top of bulb shining onto a convex reflective surface.

e) Perspex cylinder with inverted cone to reflect light sideways.

f) Tall Perspex cylinder with inverted cone and frosted sides.

g) TIR lens to distribute LED light to 360 degrees.

Figure 6 Ideas for providing 360 degree spread of light from LEDs

Figure 6 c makes use of the fact that white light from LEDs is produced by a blue LED chip with a yellow phosphor layer over the top with the combination of blue and yellow giving the appearance of white. By separating the phosphor layer it may provide a more diffuse and less directional light source. A common method is to use multiple LEDs to provide multidirectional light but high power LEDs have better performance characteristics with higher efficacy and therefore a single LED approach is preferred. From the designs shown in Figure 6 b, c, e and f look most promising as they are simple geometric shapes and therefore easier to manufacture. LEDs should be driven with a constant current, which becomes more important the higher the power used. The use of a DC-DC converter allows constant current control while

30

efficiently matching the battery voltage to the typical forward voltage of 3-4v for white LEDs. 10.3.2 NiMH Batteries NiMH offer good characteristics for a solar lantern but must be looked after to maximise their life. They are intolerant of both overcharge where hydrogen can be evolved and electrolyte lost through the safety valve and over discharge where cell

reversal can occur in multi-cell batteries (Buchmann, 2005). To protect against these the batteries should not be discharged below 1v per cell and charging should be stopped promptly on reaching full charge. Solar charging poses unique challenges in detecting full charge due to the variation in supply current and voltage experienced throughout the day resulting from cloud cover and the motion of the sun (Cadini, et al., 2008) and (Boico, et al., 2007). Figure 7 shows the voltage and temperature of NiMH cells during charging at different rates (GP Batteries), from which the two standard methods for detecting end of charge can be seen. In a typical fast charger (rate 0.5 – 1.0C) full charge is detected by negative dv/dt or increase in temperature, commonly both are used along with a back up timer to avoid excessive overcharge. There are many specialised ICs that include this functionality available. As can be seen in Figure 7, these full charge indications are most pronounced at fast charge rate, however to minimise cost the solar module must be small, giving a low rate of charge. In addition fluctuations in environmental conditions can lead to these standard termination methods giving false indications when solar charging as cloud cover will reduce the supply current, giving a negative dv/dt and sudden direct sunlight will cause rapid temperature rise. Various charging methods and algorithms are proposed in (Boico, et al., 2007), (Cadini, et al., 2008) and (Hussein, et al., 2009) to overcome these problems. 31
Figure 7 Charge voltage and temperature of NiMH (GP Batteries)

10.4 Proposed solution
10.4.1 Conceptual Solar lanterns are a very good first step on the energy ladder, but they are not a long term solution and it is likely that

customers will seek to upgrade to higher power systems with more

functionality when their finances permit, perhaps using the money saved by not buying kerosene for lighting. When a larger system is installed the solar lanterns become redundant, or act as a backup light source and new lighting systems are purchased. This concept aims to improve the scalability of Pico solar systems and allow them to be easily upgraded to suit all requirements. The lighting system concept is described in Figure 8. The basis of the system is a smart solar lighting unit that offers flexibility while remaining simple to use and maintain. The basic lantern is split into three elements: the lamp, Battery pack and solar module. Each is a standalone appliance and can be used with seamlessly with the others as well as other products.
Figure 8 Function diagram of the next generation concept

Lamp The lamp consists of a high power, high efficiency LED with a driver circuit that allows input voltages of 4 to 15 volts. This allows the lamp to be run from a 4xAA NiMH battery pack or a 12V lead acid solar battery in a solar home system (SHS). Therefore if the household upgrades to a SHS they can use their existing high quality lamps.

32

Battery pack The battery pack holds four AA NiMH batteries which can be replaced by the owner and used as individual batteries in other appliances as well as in the battery pack. The battery pack has over-discharge protection for the batteries and a charge controller that will accept power between 6 and 24 volts allowing a range of solar modules to be used to charge it. This allows seamless upgrading to higher power solar modules without rendering the battery pack useless. The battery pack can clip into the lamp to provide a single lantern unit, or it can be attached via wires for permanent light fittings in the house with the batteries at a central location. The battery pack can also be utilised for other applications e.g. phone charging or powering a radio. Solar module The basic lighting pack would be supplied with a 2Wp solar module to minimise cost but as described above any other size of panel could be used to suit the household budget. 10.4.2 Technical The proposed design that will enable this concept is set out below with prototypes built and tested.

Lamp The light source is a 3W Cree XP-G white LED that produces 340lm at 1A. This is driven by a constant current buck converter allowing input voltages in the range 4 – 15V. The buck converter is driven by a
Figure 9 Functional diagram of the Lamp module

555

PWM

circuit

(555

Timer

Circuits, 2010) that provides three light output levels. A functional diagram is shown in Figure 9 and the full schematic can be found in Appendix D. The circuit makes use of a buck converter IC which integrates an NMOS power switch, current sense and PWM driver to maintain the output current. The device operates at 1.6MHz to minimise the size of the inductor required and requires a current feedback voltage of 0.205v to minimise power dissipation. 33

Battery Pack

Figure 10 Functional diagram of the Battery module

The battery pack contains four AA NiMH batteries that are charged by a microcontroller controlled PWM Single Ended Primary Inductor Converter (SEPIC) (Wikipedia, 2010). A SEPIC converter (Boico, et al., 2007) (National Semiconductor Corporation, 2008) was chosen as it allows step-up and stepdown and also has continuous current from the solar module. A buck converter would have been less efficient as energy is wasted when the switch is open. The microcontroller operates a dithering maximum power point tracker, measuring the current delivered to the battery to maximise it up to a limit where it is maintained at 0.6A. The microcontroller also monitors the temperature of the batteries and terminates charge when an increase relative to ambient is seen. Ambient temperature is measured on an equivalent thermal mass (in this case a dead battery). A safety timeout is inherently provided by the length of the day. The over discharge protection circuit cuts off the battery when the output voltage falls below 4V. A functional diagram is shown in Figure 11 and the full schematic can be found in Appendix E. A functional diagram of the microcontroller code is shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11 Functional diagram of the microcontroller code

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Testing
10.4.3 Circuits Lamp Module The lamp module, Figure 12 and Appendix G, works well, regulating the current supplied to the LED across the whole voltage input range. In addition the PWM dimming works as expected and the middle setting has been calibrated to provide eight hours of light (the 6 hours specified plus a margin).
Figure 12 Lamp module

The output characteristic of the lamp module, shown in Figure 14, show that the output current delivered falls short of the intended 1A and varies with the input voltage, as does the efficiency. An explanation for the reduced performance is not
100 80 Efficiency / % 60 40 20 0 3.0

Lamp Module Efficiency and output voltage at full power setting against input voltage
0.6 Output Current / A 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 5.0 7.0 9.0 11.0 Input Voltage / v 13.0 15.0
I out Efficiency

obvious as the circuit values are

Figure 14 Graph showing Lamp module output characteristics

correct and there is margin on all the components to avoid saturation or

overloading, however the circuit is switching at high frequency (1.6MHz, see Figure 15) and noise on the signals could be affecting the internal limits in the driver IC. The lamps performance at the primary operation point of 4.8v is reasonable at 0.5A and 65%
Figure 13 Buck converter switch output

35

efficiency. The LED driver IC remains cool during operation, maintaining a temperature of 35°C while operating at full load at room temperature. Battery Module The battery module, Figure 16 and Appendix G, comprises the SEPIC converter,

microcontroller and the low voltage cut off. The low voltage cut off circuit works well, reliably turning the batteries off when the voltage drops below 4V and preventing
Figure 15 Output of Buck MOS switch at 1.6Mhz

them being latched back on until the voltage rises.
Converter Effieicncy / %

There is a standby current of 3mA which is not ideal as this equates to a power drain of 12 mW however this can be eliminated by turning off main the switch, which completely isolates the battery. The PIC

100

Figure 16 Battery Module SEPIC Converter Efficiency against output power at Vin = 10v

80 60 40 20 0 0.0 2.0 4.0 Output Power / W 6.0 8.0

Figure 18 Graph showing SEPIC converter efficiency

microcontroller drives the SEPIC MOSFET with a
Output power / W

SEPIC output power against Duty Cycle at Vin = 10v
9.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 SEPIC Duty Cycle
Figure 17 Graph of SEPIC output power against duty cycle

250kHz PWM signal to control the output current to the battery and also controls an indicator LED to show that the battery is being charged. The includes

microcontroller

36

analogue to digital converters (ADC) to allow the battery temperatures to be monitored for full charge detection and to monitor the current to the battery to close the control loop and implement maximum power point tracking (MPPT). These ADC functions have yet to be implemented but the functionality is present and just requires further work to implement. The SEPIC converter, under the control of the microcontroller operates very well. Figure 18 shows the efficiency of the converter when stepping down from V in = 10v to the battery voltage. The average efficiency recorded is 80.6%. The output voltage is fixed by the battery therefore the duty cycle controls the power as shown in Figure 17. It is clear that the converter is very sensitive to a small range of duty cycles which has implications for the microcontroller program. Similar results to these are seen when the converter is stepping up from a low voltage input as can be seen in Appendix G. At an input power of 2W, the design power of the solar module for the basic lantern the current to the battery is 0.3A. This equates to a C/7 charge rate giving approximately 8-9 hour. There will be some additional power consumption by the microcontroller and monitoring circuitry, but this should be small and not impact the charging time too greatly. 10.4.4 Light bulbs The light distributions from all the bulb designs are presented in Appendix H. Each of the bulbs was tested using the lamp module driven from the battery in a photographic dark room. Measurements were taken with a light meter at 30cm away from the LED at a range of angles from the vertical. The most even light distribution was obtained from the Phillips light bulb, shown in Figure 19, which was removed from an LED mains bulb. The bulb (Figure
Figure 20 Phillips bulb Figure 19 Light Phillips bulb distribution for Light distribution (lux): Phillips light bulb with Cree LED

300 200 100

0

20) appears to have a polymer coating on the inside of the glass that

reflects and diffuses the light arround resulting in a very uniform emmision of light from the bulb.

37

It is difficult to judge on te best light distribution, but perhaps the most promising from the designs proposed in section 10.3.1 is the short bulb
Figure 23 Short 30° bulb

with

inverted conical top (Figure 23).

Light distribution (lux): phosphor bulb with blue LED

150 100 50 0

Light Distribution (lux): Short bulb 30° + dif with Cree LED

300 200 100 0

The light distribution, shown in Figure 21 is not uniform with peaks at certain angles however the spread of light to the sides is good. It may be possible, through development of the design, to tweek the light distribution, for

Figure 21 Light distribution for short 30° bulb

Figure 22 Light distribution phosphor coated bulb

for

example round off the corners and cone apex may smooth out the light distribution. The use of the phosphor coatings with a blue LED gave very nice light distirbutions as shown in Figure 22. There is potential for improving the output from the phosphor through optimisation of the coating and bulb design.

11 Discussion of design process
11.1 Effectiveness of design
11.1.1 Output The light output from the lantern is bright and if effectively distributed then it should be sufficient to meet the requirements for the lantern. Lighting levels are quite subjective and depend on the task undertaken so it is difficult to make definite assertions that the light level is suitable or not. The Lumina project have undertaken some interesting work into minimum illumination levels for night market vendors in Kenya (Johnstone, et al., 2009) which showed that the minimum illumination acceptable at a distance of 1m from the light source is in the order of 2 lux. Based on the Phillips bulb the illumination at 1m from the lantern should be around 18lux and is therefore well in excess of the minimum level found by Johnstone et al. In addition the lamp module should maintain that illumination level right down to battery cut-off. 38

The results from the bulb light distributions show that there is potential in these simple approaches to yield good performance for minimal cost and great simplicity. Further development of the bulb shapes is required but it is clear that the technique is a successful one. An additional possibility would be to buy in bulbs of the Phillips type that give very even light distribution. 11.1.2 Efficiency The efficiency of the charging circuit is very good at around 80% however there should be scope for further improvement with more development. The biggest area for improvement is in the lamp module where the efficiencies are disappointingly low across a large range of input voltages and further work is needed to optimise the circuit.

11.2 Relevance to the problem
11.2.1 Performance As discussed above, the light output of the lantern seems to be suitable for the intended users. To gain a better idea of the suitability requires testing prototypes with a sample of potential users and gaining feedback on its suitability as there is not a definite academic answer that can be determined otherwise. 11.2.2 Cost The cost of the parts for the prototype lantern is around £40 (approximately US$65). To produce 1000 prototype lanterns would reduce the cost per lantern to £35 (approximately US$55). This is still too expensive to meet the target of sub US$50 as this does not include the casings, transport, mark-ups and taxes that will be imposed on a product going to market. There are going to be savings in the economies of mass production that will drive the cost down but it is difficult to quantify that amount. The total production cost will have to be brought down to around US$25 in order for the final retail price to be on target, however this may be possible to achieve with the current design. The full cost breakdown for the lantern is included in Appendix F.

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11.2.3 Usability The design, when appropriately packaged can be intuitive and easy to operate with plug and play design and three controls to master. The operation could be simplified further by a change of design to the low V cut-off to eliminate the need to have a separate switch just for its initialisation. Figure 24 shows the relative size of the Glowstar and the lantern developed here and clearly illustrates the significant large difference between the two, which are of similar performance specification. There is clearly more work to be done to package the new lantern appropriately but once done it should address the issue of Glowstar’s size and weight giving a much more portable, easy to handle product.
Figure 24 Glowstar and next generation lantern side by side

11.3 Limitations
This design is not a solution to the problems of energy access globally, but it is a good interim measure to start households on their way to improved energy access with the benefit of all the components still being useful after a household upgrades their energy supply whether to a solar home system or grid connection. The light output of the lantern is inherently limited and will never be able to compete with a grid connection in terms of light output; however with development of LEDs progressing rapidly the output of the lantern can be upgraded as better LEDs become available. The lantern is however a significant step up in performance from fuel based lighting products.

11.4 Manufacture
The aim of the Glowstar project to enable production in Kenya was very worthy and an interesting exercise. This design has not been developed with the same target but, if the lantern were to be produced, local manufacture or assembly is an interesting proposition as it provides employment and skills and also increases the maintainability of the product in country through the availability of spare parts skill labour. As with Glowstar, wholesale production of the lantern in Kenya is unlikely to be achievable due to the limitations of Kenya’s industry however assembly of the final product from imported and locally sourced 40

parts is possibility e.g. circuit boards from China, Solar cells from US or Europe and batteries from the general world market with final assembly in country. Careful analysis would need to take place before such a scheme was implemented to define the costs, benefits and wider implications.

12 Conclusions
Glowstar pioneered a new market sector ten years ago and was in many ways a ground breaking innovation. As has been discussed in this project much advance has been made in technology in the intervening decade that now allows new options to be explored and there are many factors, social and technological, that make a next generation lantern development a very exciting prospect. Technical: LED technology has developed new, efficient and robust lighting possibilities that are proven in service  LED technology continues to advance rapidly promising better, brighter and more efficient products in the future.  A great array of very capable and affordable ICs is now available on the market that can simplify the design and reduce costs.  Battery technology has advanced significantly and continues to expand the options for off-grid applications including NiMH and lithium chemistries. Social: The need for improved off-grid lighting has not diminished with a huge underserved market  There is great desire and enthusiasm amongst un-electrified communities  The potential benefits to people are still huge and potentially life-changing  There is an unprecedented global focus on off-grid lighting through projects such as Lighting Africa  Access to relevant information is easier than ever before  Governments, communities and individuals are increasingly aware of the potential benefits including environmental issues resulting from the worldwide concern over climate change. The coincidence of the above factors makes now a very good time for a new lantern development and indeed there are many companies in various stages of the process. The design proposed here perhaps offers a new level of modularity and flexibility of use to the design that can benefit users. 41  

This prototype successfully proves that the concept design can be feasibly implemented, in an easy to use product and near to the target price. The performance of the lantern isn’t yet up to the expected levels in terms of efficiency and light output, but further work should help to optimise the circuit and improve performance. As it stands the lantern seems to attain a suitable level of performance to meet the requirements set out by the market research.

12.1 Further developments
The performance of the lantern can be improved in several areas. The charge control and MPPT need to be implemented with further development to the microprocessor code. The microprocessor has excess capacity that will allow more sophisticated charging algorithms to be implemented for example dT/dt termination and dV/dt termination of charging as proposed in (Boico, et al., 2007), (Cadini, et al., 2008) and (Hussein, et al., 2009). The performance can also be improved through optimisation of the lamp drive to enable full current to the LED and improved efficiency and on the low V cut-off to minimise the standby current. The circuit would also benefit from being constructed on a well designed PCB. Full testing and characterisation of the design needs to be carried out to establish how robust the design is and the ongoing performance level attainable. Further work should then concentrate on packaging the modules to attain the functionality set out in the concept design with the opportunity to develop additional accessories for the system.

13 The Future
13.1 Opportunities
With further development this design could form the basis of a high performance, scalable and affordable solar lantern that can help to address the need for off-grid lighting in Kenya and beyond. There is the potential to reach huge numbers of people through a suitable and scalable development, manufacturing and distribution program building on the lessons learnt from the Glowstar project and subsequent market experience. A proportion of local manufacture and assembly is a feasible option given the design of the lantern with benefits for both the host country and the business viability through improved maintainability, local 42

servicing and building of local skill which may help to stimulate the local market through indigenous innovation.

13.2 Challenges
The challenges in a lantern development are clearly large and numerous, but not insurmountable. The main considerations are:      Obtaining funding to pursue the development as returns on investments is likely to be slow due to the nature of the market and the need to sell many products at low mark-ups. Setting up a successful distribution network because to be effective it is likely to be highly labour intensive and needs to be geographically diverse. Marketing the product successfully to a target group who are geographically diverse, may not be technology aware and have little spare cash available. Making the product affordable by keeping the cost to a minimum and seeking ways to enable capital poor people to purchase the product Building a strong brand through high product performance and providing good after sales service.

14 Acknowledgements
Dr Patrick Palmer, Project supervisor, Cambridge University Engineering Department Mike Brown, Technician, Cambridge University Engineering Department Stephen Hunt, Senior Energy Consultant, Practical Action Consulting Leo Blyth, Technical Advisor, Lighting Africa Tameezan wa Guthui, Energy Specialist, Practical Action East Africa Ray Holland, EUEI PDF Manager, GTZ Maina Mumbi, Off-Grid energy technician, Lighting Africa Nienke Stam, consultant, Tiodos Facet Norman Chege, Solar Manager, Davis and Shirtliff John Maina, Executive Co-ordinator, SCODE Nakuru John Kiama, Technical Consultant, Solagen Power Nairobi Samwel Odhiambo, Regional Sales Manager, Sollatek Electronics (K) Ltd Richard Mburu, Sales Engineer, Studertek Power Systems Kenya Antony Mwangi, General Manager, Green Planet and Natural Light John Kangiri, Glowstar owner Duncan Muchiri, Technician, SCODE Nakuru Kakamega Environmental Education Programme (KEEP), Kenya Jane Muthoni, Glowstar owner George Michieka, Smart Solar / Barefoot Power Kenya John Keane, Regional Manager, Solar Aid Chris Cleaver, EWB intern, Global Village Energy Partnership Kenya 43

Daniel Machariah, Global Village Energy Partnership Kenya Auto Electric Care Ltd KEEP, Kakamega Environmental Education Project Powerpoint Karen Fearon, Student, Liverpool University Katie Cresswell-Maynard, Research Programme Manager, EWB UK EWB UK Bursaries Pembroke College Cambridge Travel Grants

15 Bibliography
555 Timer Circuits. 2010. PWM Controller Circuit. 555 Timer Circuits. [Online] 2010. [Cited: 11 04 2010.] http://www.555-timer-circuits.com/pwm-controller.html. Boico, Florent, Lehman, Brad and Shujaee, Khalil. 2007. Solar Battery Chargers for NiMH Batteries. s.l. : IEEE, 2007. Buchmann, Isidor. 2005. Battery university. [Online] 2005. http://www.batteryuniversity.com. Cadini, D and Marola, G. 2008. Solar Battery Charger for NiMH Batteries. s.l. : IEE, 2008. Chege, Norman. 2009. Davis and Shirtliff. [interv.] Chris White. 15 12 2009. Electronic Products. 2010. LED breaks brightness barriers - Cree. Hearst Electronic Products. [Online] 04 01 2010. [Cited: 23 01 2010.] http://www2.electronicproducts.com/LED_breaks_brightness_and_efficiency_barriers_-_Cree-article-poyrc01_jan2010-html.aspx. GP Batteries. Nickel Metal Hydride Technical Handbook. Hong Kong : GPI International limited. Grüner, Roman, et al. 2009. Solar Lanterns Test: Shades of Light. s.l. : GTZ, 2009. GTZ. About Us. GTZ. [Online] [Cited: 22 05 2010.] http://www.gtz.de. Hankins, Mark. 2001. The Kenya PV Experience (Draft). s.l. : Energy and Development Research Centre, University of Cape Town, 2001. Hussein, Ala Al-Haj, et al. 2009. An Efficient Solar Charging Algorithm for Different Battery Chemistries. s.l. : IEEE, 2009. ITC. 2001. Glowstar in the Press. Practical Action Glowstar Website. [Online] Practical Action, 2001. [Cited: 23 05 2010.] http://www.itcltd.com/glowstar/articles.htm. ITC Ltd. 2003. Glowstar Final Technical Report. s.l. : Intermediate Technology Consultants (Practical Action Consulting), 2003. Johnstone, Peter, et al. 2009. Observed Minimum Illuminance Threshold for Night. s.l. : The Lumina Project, 2009. Lighting Africa. 2008. Kenya Qualitative Off-Grid Lighting Market Assessment. s.l. : IFC World Bank, 2008. —. 2008. Lighting Africa Market Assessment Results: Quantitative Results - Kenya. s.l. : IFC World Bank, 2008. 44

—. Lighting and Development. Lighting Africa. [Online] [Cited: 21 05 2010.] http://www.lightingafrica.org/node/326. —. 2010. Winners picked as best off-grid lighting products in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lighting Africa. [Online] 20 05 2010. [Cited: 22 05 2010.] http://www.lightingafrica.org/node/78616. National Semiconductor Corporation. 2008. Application Note. Designing a SEPIC Converter. 2008. Osram. 2010. History of LED. Osram. [Online] 2010. [Cited: 20 01 2010.] http://www.osram.com/osram_com/LED/Everything_about_LED/History_of_LED/index.htm l. Practical Action. What We do - Our Approach. Practical Action. [Online] [Cited: 21 05 2010.] http://practicalaction.org/about-us/approach. Rocky Radar. 2009. Tough Stuff: Bringing Solar to the Developing World. Rocky Radar. [Online] 01 09 2009. [Cited: 23 05 2010.] http://www.rockyradar.com/cleantech/?p=341. Schumacher, E.F. 1973. Small is Beautful, A study of Economics as if people mattered. s.l. : Blond and Briggs, 1973. Sollatek (Kenya) Ltd. 2009. Retail Price List. Sollatek. [Online] 2009. [Cited: 22 05 2010.] http://www.sollatek.co.ke/static/uploads/pricelists/Kenya-Pricelist.pdf. Sollatek (UK) Ltd. Sollatek. [Online] [Cited: 21 05 2010.] http://www.sollatek.com/. —. 2006. Glowstar Brochure. 02 2006. —. Solar Products > Solar Lights > Glowstar. [Online] [Cited: 22 05 2010.] http://www.sollatek.com/product-detail.asp?id=970. Universal Display Corporation. 2009. PHOLEDs. Universal Display. [Online] 2009. [Cited: 23 05 2010.] http://www.universaldisplay.com. Wikipedia. 2010. SEPIC Converter. Wikipedia. [Online] 30 04 2010. [Cited: 01 05 2010.] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEPIC_converter.

16 Appendices
16.1 Risk Assessment Retrospective
Aside from the usual risks associated with working with low voltage electronics and prototyping the main hazard in this project was the use of high brightness LEDs. These LEDs are typically Class 2 optical devices for which the risk of permanent damage is low. The risk assessment was reasonably accurate as there have been no major issues however one recommendation for future is to consider the use of sunglasses while operating the LEDs as it was a common occurrence to get ‘spots in front of the eyes’ after glancing at a high brightness LED. Sunglasses were used on a number of occasions and seemed to reduce the effect of the LEDs on the eye, especially when trying to observe patterns of light requiring prolonged observation of the area around the LED. There are no other deviations from the risk assessment or issues to note. 45

16.2 Appendix A – Glowstar specification
Glowstar product specification and charging modes (Sollatek (UK) Ltd). Model Lamp Battery Operating Temp Running time (from charge) Aux Output Dimension Weight 5W (25W GLS) 7W (40 W GLS) 9W (60W GLS) Lamp life Glowstar GS5 5W 4.4Ahr -10'C - +45'C full 5.5 hours Glowstar GS7 7W 7.2Ahr -10'C - +45'C 8 hours

Yes H: 420mm H: 420mm D: 135mm D: 135mm 2.4kg 3.3kg 6 hours 10 hours 5.5 hours 8 hours 4 hours 6 hours 10,000 hours 10,000 hours

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16.3 Appendix B
Details of solar lanterns available in Kenya
Some of the Lighting Africa competition winners May 2010 Green Light Price $20 Planet Sun King 0.5W 4.5v panel included a-si. 10 LED (5mm) Li-polymer 4-16hrs runtime 1 year warranty Barefoot power Firefly Price $20 1.5W panel 12 LED Battery 3xNi-Cad 600mAh 5-6hrs runtime 1 year warranty $45 Panel power unknown 3W LED 3-12hrs runtime 3 models Other Lanterns Philips Uday Lantern Price $50 5W panel 5W CFL Lead Acid battery 4-5hrs runtime Mains charger included

Hada Solar lamp

Price $20 Small solar panel built in Multiple LED 2xNi-Cad 600mAh Poor Quality

D.Light Nova

Energiser RC102

Price $30 Not solar 7W CFL 6hrs runtime

Other Solar Lanterns Tough Stuff Solar Price $15 light 1W, 5.6v Panel 4LED Battery 1.3Ah 6-30hrs runtime Variable brightness Modular system Osram LED Solar 1 Price unknown Solar panel 0.95W, 3.9v 1.2W LED with conical relector 4x NiMH 17Ah batteries 7-10hr runtime

Interchange ‘Captain Green’ lantern radio

Price $30 Small built in Panel 12 x LED light 3xNi-Cad batteries 700mAh 5-10hrs runtime Built in radio Wind-up mechanism

Topray ‘powerpack’

Price $100 LED cluster Bulbs (two bulbs) Lead Acid Battery 7Ah 12V 8-16hr runtime Mini Solar home system

D.Light Kiran

Price $10 0.3W panel built in LED light 4-8hrs 8hr charge

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16.4 Appendix C: Design Specification for next generation lantern
Essential            Provide light for 6 hours on a day’s solar charge Light a whole room (based on rooms 4x4m) sufficiently to undertake a range of activities in the room Enable light to be used in multiple rooms/locations Price should be below $50 (US) Lantern must be chargeable from solar PV Lantern must gain a full charge in one sunny day Lantern should look and feel of high quality Lantern life should be a minimum of two years with no servicing Lantern must be able to operate in direct sunlight and shade in extremes of climate in -5 to 45°C air temperature and 0 to 100% humidity Lantern must be able to withstand a drop of 2 meters onto a hard surface without damage to the product or performance Lantern must not degrade under exposure to UV light

Desired        Provide lighting for toilets/washrooms separate from house Provide portable lighting Price should be as low as possible Lantern should be chargeable from other sources e.g. mains adaptor, car adaptor The product should be able to be offered in a range of performance levels and prices to suit different people The light output should be variable The product should be capable of charging a mobile phone or powering an auxiliary device

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16.5 Appendix D: Lamp Schematic
For component values see Appendix F: Cost Breakdown.

16.6 Appendix E: Battery Module Schematic
For component values see Appendix F: Cost Breakdown.

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16.7 Appendix F: Cost breakdown for lantern design
Part list and costs
Lamp module Part Component
LED1 IC3405 R5 L1 C3 C5, C6 C4 D3 D4 IC555 S2 S1 C1 C2 R1 R2 R3 R4 LED Buck IC resistor Inductor Capacitor Capacitor Capacitor Diode Diode 555 timer switch switch Capacitor Capacitor resistor resistor resistor resistor PCB Heat Sink Casing Light diffuser Dc connector

Value
0.22 1% 10uH 10uF 1uF 0.01uF

quantity Price (one off) Price (1000pcs)
1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4.5 1.71 0.125 0.664 0.083 0.058 0.005 0.079 0.045 0.219 0.397 0.397 0.01 0.01 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 # 0.583 # # 0.243 9.132 5.39 0.386 1.98 0.284 0.94 0.34 0.568 0.166 0.155 1.215 0.02 0.125 0.956 0.098 0.002 0.094 0.019 0.041 0.292 0.3 13.371 17.99 0.243 18.233 3.8 0.915 0.07 0.526 0.032 0.034 0.002 0.036 0.045 0.219 0.381 0.194 0.005 0.005 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 # 0.437 # # 0.162 6.867 5.23 0.242 1.37 0.092 0.746 0.122 0.568 0.064 0.06 0.7 0.01 0.07 0.778 0.048 0.002 0.062 0.01 0.014 0.17 0.2 10.558 17.99 0.162 18.152

variable (prototype) variable (prototype) variable (prototype) variable (prototype)

Total for lamp

Battery module
Batteries battery holder Microcontroller 5V regulator L1, L2 Inductor MOS1 MOSFET D1 diode C1 capacitor C2 capacitor Temp sensor C3 Capacitor R1 Resistor DC connector LED resistor V ref R3,R4 Resistor R5 Resistor switch op-amp 2100mAh PIC18F1220 7805 100uH 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 5 5 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1

10uF 47uF 0.1uF 0.22ohm

330ohm 2.495 1Mpot 100k

Total for Battery Module

Solar Module
Solar Module DC connector 2.1Wp 9v Total for Solar Module 1 1

Total for lantern

40.736

35.577

50

16.8 Appendix G: Circuit detail

1) Whole lantern system connected and operating

2) Standard DC connectors for simple connection

3) Lamp module top and solder side including surface mount components on the solder side

4) Detail of Buck driver IC (left, SMD on adapter) and 555 (right)

5) Battery module top side. SEPIC and microcontroller to the left, Low V cut-off to the right

6) Solder side of SEPIC and microcontroller showing surface mount components

7) Solder side of Low V cut-off showing surface mount components 51

16.9 Appendix H: Light bulb light distribution
  All measurements are in Lux, taken at 30cm from the LED. Diff refers to a diffusion paper that can be added to the outside of the short bulbs.
Light distribution: Phillips , Cree LED 300 200 100 0

Light distribution: Short 10 ° Diff, Cree LED 300 200 100 0

Light distribution: Short 30 ° Diff, Cree LED 300 200 100 0

Light distribution: Short 10 ° No Diff, Cree LED 300 200 100 0

Light distribution: Short 30 ° No Diff, Cree LED 300 200 100 0

Light distribution: Pearl bulb, Cree LED 400 300 200 100 0

52

Light distribution: Phospho coat1, Blue LED 150 100 50 0

Light distribution: Phospho coat2, Blue LED 150 100 50 0

Light distribution: Phospho coat3, Blue LED 150 100 50 0

Light distribution: Tall Diffusion, Cree LED 400 300 200 100 0

600 400 200 0

150 100 50 0

Avago blue No bulb Cree No bulb Cree Phillips Avago Blue Phosphor outside 1

Figure above shows the different bulbs left to right: Tall diff, short 10°, short 30°, phospho1, phospho2, phospho3, Phillips.

53