Aisa and Raphael Mijeno are engineers working to minimize carbon footprints in the Philippines. Aisa worked for Greenpeace Philippines and noticed that many rural homes had no access to electricity and used fuel for lighting their lamps. Obtaining kerosene is expensive and labor intensive when the nearest town is 30 kilometers away.
IdeaSpace - Salt-Water Powered Lamp from Aisa Mijeno on Vimeo.
Mijeno found that the act of using kerosene to fill the lamps was a tradition in itself, and that became an important design consideration that whatever solution she found needed to meet. Her solution was a lamp that uses salt and water to chemically create light for the villagers. SALt – Sustainable Alternative Lighting – has metal rods acting as electrodes and the salt water acting as the conductor. A USB port on the side of the lantern can also charge electronic devices.
After initial testing it is expected that the electrodes will need to be replaced twice a year and the salt water needs to be refreshed every day to get eight hours of light. Previous battery experiments showed Mijeno using a fourteen cell series battery to consistently produce around six Volts.
SALt Lamps won funding from IdeaSpace 2014 in the Philippines and are currently seeking other investors. A few rounds of prototype iterations have led to the design that is making the rounds this week on tech blogs.
Lanterns that run on salt water aren’t necessarily new but SALt Lamp is getting press for the sustainability goals that the team is hoping to meet along with pushing the safety aspect that eliminates the possibility for kerosene fires when using the lamps. There’s a frustrating lack of hard data about the light output of the lamps, charging specifics, manufacturing targets and price / release dates. This is a great, innovative idea and it would be very rewarding to see it get out of the idea phase and pushed into manufacturing.