Power-generating merry-go-round provides happiness and light to children in rural Ghana

Bringing green energy to parts of the world that are off the power grid can be nearly impossible. The infrastructure needed to produce power and the inhospitable terrain it must cross to get to people off the power grid is often unfeasible. The US based renewable energy nonprofit Empower Playgrounds think they have an answer that not only provides children and residents of the community with power, but also brings fun and joy to children’s lives in the process.
Ben Markham, engineer and former ExxonMobil vice president, visited Ghana in the mid-2000s and saw an underlying commonality between schools in the country: they were dark, dingy, and few had electricity or playground equipment. Markham started Empower Playgrounds in 2007 to provide children with the light they need to study at night, and to provide playground equipment and bring a smile to young faces.
The design Empower Playgrounds settled on is a merry-go-round that takes the energy output by its rotations and stores it in battery packs. The packs power lanterns that are given to children to take home and use to help study. Empower Playgrounds provides each school with up to 50 lanterns, and schools usually have about 200 children. Since there aren’t enough lanterns to go around to everyone, children are divided into study groups of between 4-6 students to study together at night.
The Empower Playgrounds merry-go-round system costs $10,000 to install and will last about 5 years. One lantern charge will last for 50 hours, and will provide light for 200 children, which breaks down to about $10 per year per child. The merry-go-round won’t provide a lasting solution by the darkness experienced by those living off the grid, but it’s not meant to. In rural parts of the developing world, innovative energy solutions can provide power to the powerless.
Empower Playgrounds is far from the only company that is employing innovative ideas to provide power to rural parts of the developing world. Some companies are using gravity a solar energy to power everything from lights to laptops.
Did you get your free issue of the Intelligent Optimist?  Click here for a free download.

Solution News Source

Power-generating merry-go-round provides happiness and light to children in rural Ghana

Bringing green energy to parts of the world that are off the power grid can be nearly impossible. The infrastructure needed to produce power and the inhospitable terrain it must cross to get to people off the power grid is often unfeasible. The US based renewable energy nonprofit Empower Playgrounds think they have an answer that not only provides children and residents of the community with power, but also brings fun and joy to children’s lives in the process.
Ben Markham, engineer and former ExxonMobil vice president, visited Ghana in the mid-2000s and saw an underlying commonality between schools in the country: they were dark, dingy, and few had electricity or playground equipment. Markham started Empower Playgrounds in 2007 to provide children with the light they need to study at night, and to provide playground equipment and bring a smile to young faces.
The design Empower Playgrounds settled on is a merry-go-round that takes the energy output by its rotations and stores it in battery packs. The packs power lanterns that are given to children to take home and use to help study. Empower Playgrounds provides each school with up to 50 lanterns, and schools usually have about 200 children. Since there aren’t enough lanterns to go around to everyone, children are divided into study groups of between 4-6 students to study together at night.
The Empower Playgrounds merry-go-round system costs $10,000 to install and will last about 5 years. One lantern charge will last for 50 hours, and will provide light for 200 children, which breaks down to about $10 per year per child. The merry-go-round won’t provide a lasting solution by the darkness experienced by those living off the grid, but it’s not meant to. In rural parts of the developing world, innovative energy solutions can provide power to the powerless.
Empower Playgrounds is far from the only company that is employing innovative ideas to provide power to rural parts of the developing world. Some companies are using gravity a solar energy to power everything from lights to laptops.
Did you get your free issue of the Intelligent Optimist?  Click here for a free download.

Solution News Source

SIGN UP

TO GET A Free DAILY DOSE OF OPTIMISM


We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Privacy Policy