Over 2 billion people on earth don't have
electricity but these simple inventions are helping.
Most live in rural or remote areas that are off the electrical grid but others can't afford electricity because they're poor and live on less than $2 a day.
Inventors have been working on this problem and have created effective, inexpensive, simple inventions that don't require electricity.
Jane Chen and Rajan Patel are co-inventors of the award winning incubator pouch for premature babies.
Jessica Lin, along with co-inventors, Hemali Thakker, Julia Silverman and Jessica Matthews invented the sOccket, an award winning innovation that uses a soccer ball to harness and store electrical energy when kicked.
Multiple award winning inventor Emily Cummins created an inexpensive, simple, natural biological cooler that refrigerates perishable foods and medicine.
The latest simple invention to address this electricity problem comes from co-inventors Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford.
They spent four years developing their award winning GravityLight™, which is a light that requires no electricity, no batteries or solar dependency to operate. Instead it uses the force of gravity to create light.
A weight is connected to the end of a rope that loops through the light casing. The light is hung from any structure or tree. You pull on the rope to lift the weight to the casing.
When you let go of the rope the weight gradually falls and pulls the rope through gears that turn a small generator to power LEDS on the light.
The light shines for about 25 minutes and it only takes 3 seconds to pull the rope to restart the cycle again.
To demonstrate the feasibility of their invention they decided to raise funds for field testing. They launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $55,000 but received close to $400,000.
Jim acknowledges that the success and support for the campaign was helped by an unexpected endorsement from Bill Gates who tweeted, "GravityLight is a pretty cool innovation which could be a source of cheap light in developing markets."
Jim Reeves gives a great explanation of the development process he and Martin used to create GravityLight at a TEDx event, which you can watch here on Youtube.
Source: deciwatt.org; ted.com/tedx/events; creativecommons.org
The battery-less remote control is a simple invention that uses energy-saving technology.
The remote control uses an electromagnetic induction coil and rotation gears to generate current.
The signal is transmitted a distance of several meters using infrared light. The current is activated by squeezing a trigger which in turn makes the remote functional.
You fill it with water and it operates as any normal LCD digital clock - displaying the date and time in easy to read digits. The water powered clock doesn't require any batteries.
In fact, you can fill it with any pop or fruit juice, even coffee or beer and it will still work. A clear casing allows you to see your beverage of choice inside the clock.
Here is how it works.
The secret is that the water clock is a battery.
Inside is an electrolyte cell with two metal posts.
When the posts are immersed in a liquid that conducts electricity (water) then electrons flow from one post to the other creating a current.
The electric current powers the clock. If you add fruit juice, or soda pop, it makes the liquid more conductive.