The GravityLight project is an old engineering achievement in a new way, an attempt to turn a primitive, ancient and well-studied principle into a new source of energy. As it is now popular: environmentally friendly, cheaper than anything in the world and collected on the knee even in the African jungle. It was there that the lamps were baptized.
The African outback is good as a testing ground for all kinds of lighting systems. The only available light source for the poor – kerosene lamps – is too fire-hazardous and subject to criticism everywhere. Finally, WHO has already recognized the inhalation of kerosene fumes as a greater misfortune for people’s health than smoking, and therefore projects of alternatives to burned fuels receive a green light all over the world.
The principle of the GravityLight luminaire is the same as that of an old clock with a pendulum – a load, a simple mesh with stones, falls under the action of gravity, unwinding the drive of the generator.
The modern design of the gears is not the same as that used 300 years ago, with a light load you can get a solid stroke and continuous operation of the system for up to 20 minutes. Low -power LEDs illuminate the space no worse than the flame of a kerosene, and the need to constantly get up and “start” the system is not such a labor for the peasant kids.
The most interesting thing in the GravityLight system is the lack of consumables. Until the parts become worn out, the system can work for years, under the most uncomfortable conditions. Due to the short duration of the single cycle, the economic benefits from such luminaires are questionable, but the project has been successfully put on crowds and can find life as a traveling equipment or a curious accessory.