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8452: illuminating students (fwd)

From: Stuart M Leiderman <leidermn@cisunix.unh.edu>

concerning last week's posting about blackouts in Haiti, where the whole
country only needs 350 megawatts--small, I think, by US generating plant
standards--there is no need for students to be left in the dark while the
electric company gets its act together and while the reservoirs
inexocrably fill with silt, reducing their hydroelectric potential.

probably, there are enough of us on this list who can cobble up a
prototype student lamp consisting of a photocell, battery, bulb, shade,
reflecter and stand that will give students complete energy independence
and permit them to study whenever and wherever they please.  left outside
during the day, the photocell will trickle charge the battery, giving
sufficient light at night to read or write.

a variation of this is already commonly available as inexpensive solar
powered patio lights that Americans buy in quantity and stick in the
ground to illuminate their decks and sidewalks.  (unfortunately, this
doesn't seem to make Americans any smarter about energy issues, but in
Haiti, solar lamps could improve literacy.)

alternatively, crank-powered radios are now available from Radio Shack
for less than $40.  the same mechanism could be used to power a student
lamp; in fact, some crank radios already have a built-in light.

either of these could be manufactured in Haiti.  the electric company
should give them to students.  for this purpose, there is absolutely no
need to wait for centralized electrification.

student illumination equals student power.

Stuart Leiderman
Environmental Response