Around the world, there are shortages ofÂ food andÂ clean drinking water, but what you may not realize is that there is also a shortage of light for those dark nights in electricity-less areas. A group of students from theÂ University of Michigan have come up with a solution: Emerald, a portable solar panel-powered device that provides 100 lumens of light and power for your electronics.
These engineering students founded the start-up companyÂ June Energy. One of the students, Abdrahamane TraorÃ©, comes from Mali where he grew up doing his homework with a kerosene lamp in a poor village. The kerosene lamp doesn’t provide sufficient lighting–only about 60 lumens of light–and can be bad for health. Plus you have to continuously buy kerosene fuel for it which can get expensive.
Emerald will provide 100 lumens of light, a USB charging dock, cell phone ports, and a number of adapters. The device charges in only three hours in full sunlight. It can charge a smartphone in the same time it takes to charge by an outlet, and the device can provide light for eight full hours. The students hope to get the price to under $20. (Source)