Friday, August 12, 2011

A Liter of Light: Solar Bottle Bulbs - INSTRUCTIONS

Solar Bottle Bulbs – Provision For Lighting In Summer
Posted by Shubhankar Deshkar on May 2, 2011

The Scorching heat of the summer is rising now and so is the demand for electricity. As we all know that many rural as well as the urban areas suffer Load-shedding or Power cuts to comply with the available limited generation of electrical energy. Thus the situations worsen especially in the rural areas which suffer a load shedding of more than 10 hours a day. One of the main utilization of the electrical energy is for the purpose of lighting. Without light, no work can be done.

Thus to put an end to the lighting problem, an expert team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has invented the Solar Bottle bulbs. This bulb also facilitates the poor people who cannot afford to buy a legal electricity connection and need light for the mundane household chores. “Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light)” is the name of the project and it will help improving the conditions in developing communities like Philippines. It is basically a plastic soda bottle containing a mixture of purified water and chlorine. Chlorine is mixed in the water to increase the life span of the water making it last for 5 years approximately. Distilled water is used in the process to avoid the refraction phenomenon.

Some readily available chemicals are also mixed in the solution and kept in the sunlight to harness the solar energy and then use it at nights when required.

Following materials are used to make a solar bottle bulb:

1.5 liter soda bottle, purified water, chlorine and a rubber sealant, roof sheet material, camera film dispenser*

This is how you can make a solar bottle bulb:

Fill the 1.5 liter bottle with distilled water and add 3 tablespoons of liquid bleach. After this seal the cap tightly.
Make a hole in the 1’X 1’ roof sheet material equal to the circumference of the bottle. Now, insert the bottom part of the bottle and keep it exposed to the sun.

Make a hole in the roof of the house (equal to bottle diameter) to fix this bulb.

Seal the roof with the sealant to avoid water from entering the house via the gaps. The water inside the bottle will refract and scatter the light inside the house causing illumination.

This bulb is capable of producing energy equivalent to a 55 Watt electric bulb. If this source of light is used on a 24 hour basis there will be a 40% saving in the monthly electricity expenses. With the efforts of the Manila city Government, 120 houses were lit up using the “Solar bottle bulbs” in Tondo in the month of April.

It is really a revolutionary effort from the experts of MIT to reach out and benefit even the lowest Strata of the society.

Source: CoolBuster

* Note: I think the camera film dispenser is to keep the bottle cap from degrading in the sun. Where do we get those film dispensers or another item like it now that everyone uses digital cameras? I also saw a video where they simply coated the cap with the same gray caulk they were using around the cut piece of tin roofing material. Purified water and chlorine is to keep moss and algae from growing in the bottle from the water. The bottle lights are estimated to last about five years, and give off up to 55 watts of free energy.


More info and to donate:


Also note in this article, salt is added to the solution:

'Bottle bulbs' to provide light to poor
April 14, 2011, 6:34pm

"Under the system, each home will be installed with a solar bulb made from a two-liter plastic bottle filled with a solution of water, salt and chlorine that gather and amplify sunlight.

The bottle will act as lens and provide a tremendous amount of interior light equivalent to 55 watts during daytime, so that there is no more need to use electricity."


Facebook Page: A Liter of Light (Isang Litrong Liwanag)



Catherine Todd said...

Received from Roger Stringham, FirstGate in Hawaii:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Roger Stringham
Date: Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Bottled Water & Bleach Creates Free Light (Video)
To: Catherine Todd


I think you should experiment, The bigger the bottle and hole the more light you gather. Funnel it down and attach some transparent plastic tubing so it will reach down to the floor. If you are not using the tubing for close work, hang it on the wall with a reflector.

My response:

Roger, what a GREAT IDEA to use tubing and a reflector! How did you think of this?

I take it that you are running the same water & bleach solution in the tube? How do you cap off the tube?

I'm going to try this right away when I get back to Guatemala. Know just the spot to test it.

Keep those ideas coming! Katie (Catherine Todd)

nimrod said...

If 1 water bottle can generate
55 watts, will ten water bottles generate enough for a solar panel
to charge a battery to provide
electrical power for night time use? Most solar panels have to be
placed in a slanting position.
For this case the panels need not be slanted.