There are many problems in Pakistan, load shedding being the major one, there are several reasons for this, to me the main being lack of dams. This has stopped progress in Pakistan though we have many other cheap sources of power which could be used. There is one solution called the ‘Solar Bottle Bulb.’ This is extremely cheap and is a renewable source of energy. You will probably be wondering what it is? This innovation is installed on the roof of homes, with the purpose of refracting sunlight, in order to light up a room. The project’s innovation lies in its utilization of cheap, durable and readily available materials to produce natural electricity to enabling the urban poor to have access to an affordable, environmentally friendly long-term alternative to electric during the day.

Most of the plastic bottles used are recycled 1.5 liter bottles. After being filled with water and a little bleach, the bottle is pushed through a steel sheet, that serves as a metal lock, to prevent it from slipping. It is then fixed into a corrugated iron roof. A small part of the bottle is left outside while the rest is inside the house. Sealant is put around the hole to keep it weather proof. The refractive property of water ensures that light from the sun, that reaches inside the bottle becomes ‘Omni-directional,’ mimicking an electric light bulb and emitting the same amount of light as a 40-60 W bulb, depending on the amount of solar insulation available.

Adding bleach to the water prevents it from turning green with algae and ensures a high quality of light, keeping the water clear for a longer time. In order to facilitate the use of this invention, through open source mechanisms, step-by-step guides on materials and installation are available. In Pakistan this project is being run under Ace Welfare Foundation. This project is currently being implemented in the IDPs camps, where it is illuminating the maternity wards and clinics. As this project is not being implemented on the scale it should be, through this article we want to inform the people of Pakistan about the project and would want that government should also look into it to meet the power shortage.

M FAIZAN,

Lahore, January 27.