Hand-Crank Lighting For African Homes

freeplay.jpgWith all of the emphasis on saving energy and eco-friendliness these days, hand-crank technology has seen increased use in devices ranging from phone chargers to the OLPC. If the Freeplay Foundation's LifeLight Project has its way, this old school technology may soon be used to illuminate the homes of Africa's poor. According to estimates, as many as 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity, resorting instead to kerosene lamps, battery powered lights, and wood fires to generate light. Prototypes are now being developed for future testing in Kenya, and designs have been drawn up for a base unit that would be used to recharge multiple detachable lights that can be distributed around the home. [BBC News]

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