Solar power lights the way

first_imgSolar security lights outside the Boschkop police station. The police station now need not rely onthe sometimes erratic national grid. The small solar panel is visible on the roof, in the left of the photo. Each environment-friendly ceiling lightcontains 22 LEDs. Mike Addinall outside the fourth Asia Solar Photovoltaic Exhibition in Shanghai.(Images: Betta Lights)Janine ErasmusPretoria-based businessman Michael Addinall is something of a solar lighting pioneer in South Africa.Not only are he and his four business partners and their company Betta Lights responsible for the first solar-lit police station in the country, but they have developed a complete, affordable solar lighting system for low-cost housing.Two years ago Addinall was on the site of a low-cost housing development in the Mogale City municipality, west of Johannesburg, to consult with the city council on the installation of smart metering for water and lights.Smart metering takes metering to the next level, with advanced features such as power outage notification, real-time measuring, and two-way communication with the local utility for billing purposes.The group was still there after darkness had fallen, and Addinall was struck by the fact that none of the houses had electricity. Municipality staff at the scene explained that because most of the residents were indigent, the council would not allocate money for infrastructure, and in any case the national power provider Eskom could not supply power to the site.Addinall entered a nearby house and was horrified to see two children battling to do their homework in dim candlelight, while their mother cooked supper on a paraffin stove. With the progression of technology in the 21st century, he thought, people should not have to struggle so.“I believe in poverty eradication through education,” he said, “and children can’t study in the dark.”The power of the sunThat was the beginning of Betta Lights and the Betta.Life.Light solar lighting system. Specifically designed to work around situations where people were not connected to the national grid, the system uses South Africa’s ample supply of sunlight to illuminate a small house of about 50m².Betta Lights’s stated mission is poverty alleviation and a better life for those in poor and rural communities, while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases by developing, supplying and supporting specialised solar solutions.All components, wiring and brackets for Betta.Life.Light are supplied in a single package and are guaranteed for one year. Installation is easy and well within the capabilities of the handyman of the house.The system comprises five lights – four ceiling lights and a reading lamp – plus a mobile phone charger and adapters for popular phone brands.All units are powered by a solar panel that is has an expected life of 25 years and is connected to a controller unit, which in turn feeds to the lights and a rechargeable 6-volt battery.Betta Lights use batteries which are kinder to the environment, are more robust and have a longer life than the conventional lead acid batteries. This is important for people who are already financially challenged.Each light contains 22 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which are far more efficient than even the compact fluorescent lamps that most people use now. LEDs use very little power and efficiently convert electrical energy into light. Because they are made of non-toxic materials, are recyclable and have a long life, LED lights are environment-friendly.Betta Lights claims that with all five lights on simultaneously, the system will function for up to 15 hours even if there is no sun.The Betta.Life.Light installed cost would be approximately US$379 (R3 400 exclusive of vat). Addinall acknowledges that this may be out of reach of poor families and is working to enlist government’s help in making it more accessible.“Government should be giving this to people at no charge,” said the businessman, adding that light was a basic necessity of life and that the cost of a retrofit system will be recouped in six years, while a new installation, replacing fuel based lighting, will pay for itself in about three years.“Certain households qualify for 50 free units of electricity a month,” he said, “but that is used up within days. These people then stand in queues to buy R5 or R10 worth of prepaid electricity. We can offer a realistic solution.”Serving the communityBetta Lights is also responsible for South Africa’s first solar-lit police station. The Boschkop police station in Pretoria now boasts solar lighting in a number of areas, including the trauma centre, holding cells, weapons safe, public toilets and walkways, parking areas for staff and visitors, and charge room. The external security lights are theft- and weather-proof.“Police stations should never have to shut down because of a power outage,” said Addinall. “During power cuts the Boschkop police station stands out like a beacon in the dark. Before we installed the system, the station had been waiting two years for the Department of Public Works to fix the lights.”He added that currently there are between 30 and 40 police stations without power around South Africa. Boschkop was a pilot project and the South African Police Service has since acknowledged the value of solar power at police stations, thus allowing them to efficiently serve their communities.RecognitionIn March 2009 Addinall travelled to Shanghai, China, to attend the fourth Asia Solar Photovoltaic Exhibition. Betta Lights was the only African exhibitor out of 362 from more than 20 countries. With its flagship Betta.Life.Light system, the company was one of just two to offer a practical solar solution in addition to showing off their technology.Betta Lights is now in the running for the 2009 eta Awards, given annually by Eskom and the Department of Minerals and Energy in recognition of those companies or individuals who lead the way in the efficient use of energy. The award ceremony takes place in October 2009.Products developed and made by Betta Lights have been endorsed by the Central Energy Fund, a division of the Department of Minerals and Energy.Related articlesLight for AfricaA power plant in your homeInvesting in clean futureSouth African inventionsUseful linksBetta Lightseta AwardsAsia Solar Photovoltaic ExhibitionSouth African Police ServiceCentral Energy FundDepartment of Minerals and Energylast_img read more

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Zark’s rises; eze, perpetual wallop jru

first_img2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting AFP official booed out of forum NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers The Altas halted the Bombers’ two-game run to tie their victims at 2-1. —RANDOLPH B. LEONGSON, INQUIRER.NET Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Mike Nzeusseu paced Zark’s-Lyceum, which rose to4-1, with 27 points and 11 rebounds while reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez added 18 points.“Wangs wanted to win as badly,” said coach Topex Robinson as he took responsibility for the near-collapse. “I wanted to give others a chance to play and it almost turned into a loss.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLater, Prince Eze recorded a rare triple-double to power Perpetual Help to an 88-72 rout of Jose Rizal University.Eze dominated with 24 points, 20 rebounds and a record-setting 11 blocks to become just the fifth player in D-League history to achieve the feat. View comments Zark’s Burger-Lyceum overcame a late challenge by Wangs Basketball-Letran to escape with a 95-93 win and its fourth straight victory in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Monday at Pasig Sports Center.Jaycee Marcelino scored the deciding basket with 1:03, nailing a floater off an assist from MJ Ayaay.The Jawbreakers’ defense stood its ground in the return play, thwarting numerous attempts from the Couriers, the last of which was a fadeaway from Bonbon Batiller.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIEScenter_img Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Ricci Rivero participates in Gilas practice Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READlast_img read more

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Indian NGO Working on Maternal Health Wins MacArthur Award

first_imgPosted on January 20, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Action Research & Training for Health (ARTH), an Indian NGO with a mission to “help communities access and manage health care according to their needs and capacity, by using research and training initiatives,” was awarded a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The organization is planning to use the funding to promote maternal health in the Indian state of Rahasthan:ARTH will use the $350,000 (about Rs 1.58 crores) award to complete its field campus, purchase permanent office space and contribute to its endowment. The field campus, including three health centers and training school will be used for training “Bhil-Gameti” tribal girls of southern Rajasthan as auxiliary nurse-midwives (ANMs). Tribal girls tend to drop out of school; hence special efforts will be made to help some of them to cross secondary school, enroll as nursing-midwifery students and to complete the ANM course. It is expected that high quality midwifery training offered by ARTH will generate a demand for their services, and employment in the health sector will contribute to the health, educational and economic empowerment of the tribal community they represent.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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2010 Sportscover Sponsorship Fund

first_imgThe fund will award $15,000 USD worth of grants to Sporting Clubs or Associations throughout 2010.   Sportscover’s desire to assist community sports led to the creation of the Sportscover Sponsorship Fund (SSF) as an avenue to sponsor a wide variety of amateur sportsmen and women, striving to achieve sporting greatness across a broad cross-section of sports. Over the last few years, the SSF has donated over $50,000 in $1000 grants to grass-roots sporting clubs and associations. Criteria:Must be an amateur sporting club or association Must not spend the grant on tobacco, alcohol or illegal or immoral goods Must not have been awarded a SSF Grant in the last two years Must be available for an interview You must supply Sportscover with a photo of the fund being used. Further details can be found on the Sportscover website. Click on the following link to be taken to their website. http://www.sportscover.com/supporting-sport.asp?id=6583last_img read more

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18 days agoLiverpool defender Van Dijk: Thank-you Wolves – but I’ll say no more!

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool defender Van Dijk: Thank-you Wolves – but I’ll say no more!by Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has paid tribute to Wolves after their shock win at Manchester City.Van Dijk was surprised that City were unable to score against Wolves on Sunday.The defending Premier League champions lost 2-0 at home to Nuno Santo’s side while Liverpool won 2-1 against Leicester City to extend the gap at the top of the table to eight points.Reds centre-back Van Dijk said he thought it would be a “difficult game” for City but not as tough as it eventually proved.“I didn’t expect that, of course,” he told Sky Sports.“Everyone expected a difficult game for City, but City at home but it doesn’t happen much that they don’t even score one goal at home.“A great performance from Wolves, you have to give credit to them but you know the situation, you can’t really say much about it.“They will try to bounce back from it and until then we’ve just got to focus on our international football of course.” last_img read more

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Pamela Anderson Pays Tribute To Farley Mowat

first_imgPamela Anderson has paid tribute to Canadian author and environmentalist Farley Mowat, who died last week.“It is sadly coincidental that Farley Mowat, the original “eco-warrior” and Canada’s pre-eminent defender of wildlife, has passed away in the midst of the annual seal slaughter, which Mowat called ‘perhaps the most atrocious single trespass by human beings against the living world that’s taking place today’,” wrote Pamela. “Already, 50,000 baby seals have been killed, and 10,000 more will die in the coming weeks. However, if the demand for seal pelts hadn’t been decimated by vocal critics like Mowat, hundreds of thousands more seals would be killed, so hopefully that was some consolation to him.“Mowat’s compassion for animals extended beyond wildlife. Years ago, he joined a coalition that included PETA and Canadian animal welfare groups to file a complaint against KFC Canada, arguing that the fast-food chain made false claims about the treatment of the chickens raised and killed for its restaurants. Later, KFC Canada introduced a vegetarian sandwich in all of its franchises.“It is impossible to calculate the impact that Farley Mowat and his books have had on animals and the environment. Please, pick up a copy of Never Cry Wolf or A Whale for the Killing today and be inspired to change the world.”last_img read more

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European Space Agency ignores Inuit concerns launches hydrazine loaded rocket

first_img-with files from the Canadian Press APTN NewsThe European Space Agency ignored concerns from Inuit leaders around the world and launched a rocket loaded with a toxic fuel that could end up in waters between Nunavut and Greenland.The Sentinel 5P was launched at 5:27 a.m ET from a site in northern Russia.“We condemn Russia’s actions and demand that this launch be halted,” Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna told the Canadian Press. “Our people rely on the marine ecosystem to support our families, communities, and livelihoods.”The Inuit Circumpolar Conference, an organization that represents Inuit around the world, also protested the satellite launch.Watch the launch here: Sentinel 5POttawa had told the European Space Agency it was unhappy about plans to launch a satellite that would drop a rocket stage likely to contain highly toxic fuel in some of the most ecologically productive waters of the Canadian Arctic.“Canada is in the process of engaging the European Space Agency to express concerns regarding potential environmental effects of launches on the sensitive Arctic ecosystem,” Brianne Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, said Thursday.The comment came after the government of Nunavut added its voice to protests over the launch.“The prime minister has been in contact with the premier’s office on this issue,” Maxwell said.Territorial officials raised concerns with the Prime Minister’s Office this week after Premier Peter Taptuna complained about the launch.“We are calling on Canada and Denmark to take swift action at the international level to dissuade these activities and move forward with protecting this area locally and internationally,” Taptuna said Oct. 6, the day after Russia notified Canada of its intentions.The European Space Agency, of which Canada is an affiliate member, launched the Sentinel 5P satellite to monitor trace gases in the atmosphere.A second launch of a similar satellite is planned for 2018.The Sentinel 5P, along with the planned launch in 2018, use Soviet-era rockets fuelled by hydrazine.Hydrazine is so toxic that almost every space program in the world, including Russia’s, has moved away from it.The second stage of the rocket, containing up to a tonne of unburned hydrazine, is expected to splash down in water between Greenland and Baffin Island.That area falls within Canada’s exclusive economic zone and is within the jurisdiction of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.The North Water Polynya is an 85,000-square-kilometre ocean that is free of ice year-round. It shelters most of the world’s narwhal, as well as about 14,000 beluga whales and 1,500 walruses.Bowhead whales, polar bears, and four types of seals swim in its waters. Tens of millions of seabirds teem in its skies.Inuit communities in Canada and Greenland routinely hunt animals that depend on the North Water Polynya.Global Affairs Canada has previously said that Canada “continues to express concerns to Russia” over potential environmental impacts.The Europeans maintain all the toxic fuel burns up on re-entry.Academic research points out there has been no study of what happens to fuel released over marine ecosystems. As well, previous studies in Russian launch zones suggest some fuel does reach the water’s surface.Nunavut acknowledges the risk is low but argues it shouldn’t be there at all.Contact APTN National News here: news@aptn.calast_img read more

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