Replacing kerosene lamps with solar light bulbs

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Replacing kerosene lamps with solar light bulbs

  1. 1. Replacing Kerosene Lamps with Solar light BulbsBackgroundThe average energy consumption for lighting purpose for poor households in Uganda is $6 - $12per month. This seems low but for a country with a GDP per capita below US$509 per year itmeans that almost 25% of total income is spent on lighting. This money is used to purchase waxcandles, paraffin and dry cells. People who cannot afford that expenditure set their timetable insuch a way that by nightfall all domestic chores have been done and they sleep. Even thosehouseholds that pay for paraffin do not get quality lighting. The light output of a paraffin lamp islow and thus activities such as reading (essential for children in school age), knitting, matmaking, etc. are not possible. In fact the national examination results for primary and secondarystudents show clearly the poor performance of rural areas. This can be attributed to lack ofproper lighting as many of the School going Children cannot read at night. Hundreds of harmful chemical substances are emitted during the burning of fuels in the form of gases, aerosols (suspended liquids and solids) and suspended droplets. Carbon monoxide is one of them; it binds to hemoglobin in preference to oxygen and thus reduces oxygen delivery to key organs, which may have important implications for pregnant women, with developing fetuses being particularly vulnerable. Burning buildings and increased incidence of chronic bronchitis in women and Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) in children have been documented (Armstrong and Campbell 1991, Robin et al 1996, Bruce et al 1998, Ezzati and Kammen 2001). In Uganda, fewer than 7 percent of rural households are connected to the national power grid because conventional electrification schemes are too expensive for the rural poor to afford. Even if the annual connection rate doubled, it would takealmost 400 years to connect the existing rural population.Use of Kerosene lamps or other means of lighting that spew green house gases and black carbonhas lead to climate change. The primary source of greenhouse gas emissions in the developingworld comes from hazardous and expensive fuel-based sources such as kerosene. Kerosenelamps are responsible for the annual emission of over 100 million tons of CO2; each lamp emits1 ton of CO2 over the course of its five-year life.
  2. 2. Solar Light Bulb A billion-plus people rely on kerosene lamps. Not only is kerosene expensive, but it also emits CO2 and can be outright dangerous, causing many casualties by fire. One can save money over the course of years and use it to replace the polluting, unsafe, flickering light of a kerosene lantern. The Solar light bulb has LEDs are technically rated as having alifespan of 100,000 hours. Each solar light bulb contains four LEDs, which can give you up to13.5 lumens of intensity, this is a dim light not comparable to the 850 lumens that a 60-wattincandescent bulb gives but it can be as brighter than 10 lumens of the kerosene lantern it meansto replace. Solar panel made in Germany of single crystalline cells embedded in the plasticcasing. The rechargeable battery is made of nickel metal hydride, which is rated for 2 years andis recyclable. After around eight hours in the sunlight, the solar light bulb should provide 2.5hours on high and 6 hours plus on low of light. Solar light bulb are rainproof and are expected to last between five to ten years if theyre properly cared for. Each bulb contains an auto-switch mechanism that protects it from accidentally being turned on during daylight hours, needlessly using energy. Its a small integrated circuit. Kerosene Use • A quarter of humanity still obtains illumination via fuel-based lighting, usually Kerosene. • Usage is expected to shrink only slightly by 2030 (from 1.6 billion in 2006 to 1.3 billion in 2030), and is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa. • Fuel lighting is widespread in well over 100 countries. • Typical kerosene users burn their lamps for 1.5 hours a night
  3. 3. Economics • The average user spends 5% of their income on lighting fuel. • Off-grid lighting users spend $40 billion per year (about 20% of all global lighting expenditures) yet receive only 0.1% of total lighting services. • Solar light bulb pays for itself within weeks or months (depending on region) when replacing a kerosene lamp. • Recent market research has shown these users’ willingness to pay $6-$15 for solar LED products. • Better light creates improved study conditions, leading to a better overall economy for the host nation. (One report stated that study time of students rose from 1.47 hours to 2.71 hours per day, with a positive effect on school performance, when using LED lighting rather than fuel lamp lighting). • Off-grid businesses rank “improved lighting” highest among a set of improvements desired for their premises. • Traditional solar home systems cost $300 or more and require installation. • Battery-powered LED flashlights are available in some areas for about $5, but 87% of users had problems within 6 months.Health • Inhalation of fumes from fuel lamps is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes a day. • Exposure to single-wick lamps exposes user to 10 times more particulate matter (PM) than ambient health guidelines. • More than 1 million people per year die in fires started by fuel-lamps and lighting materials. • Indoor air pollution is responsible for the death of 1.6 million people every year—that’s one death every 20 seconds. • Long-term inhalation of hydrocarbons, including kerosene fumes, results in central nervous system damage, including loss of cognitive functions, gait disturbances, and loss of coordination. • Other health risks include burns, complications from fires or explosions, child poisoning because of inadvertent consumption, exposure to unburned fuel, and compromised ‘visual health’ because of sub-standard luminance levels.Environment: • 1.3 million Barrels of oil per day consumed by fuel lighting. • 190 million tons of carbon dioxide released into atmosphere. • This is the equivalent of 30m cars. • One Solar light bulb can save 0.77 tons of CO2 during its lifetime.Kateregga DennisConsultantAngala GroupBusiness & Environmental ConsultancyEmail: angalagroup@gmail.comMail: #9182, Kampala, UgandaTel: +256718764435

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