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[microhydro] Re: New Generation L.E.Ds and Micro Hydro milling

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  • Otto Rike
    Jan08 Barefoot Product Catalogue.pdf (1073KB)Hi Otto, We re definitely making progress - made shipments for 10,000 households / 50,000 people to get lighting
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 1, 2009
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      Jan08 Barefoot Product Catalogue.pdf (1073KB)Hi Otto,

      We're definitely making progress - made shipments for 10,000 households / 50,000 people to get lighting in Dec-Jan alone. We should hit 100,000 households or half a million people in 2009, with new investment steadily arriving, after 4 years of working with very little funds.

      This Manfred guy is partially right, and mostly wrong. LEDs indeed are not as efficient as large fluorescent lamps, but are as efficient as small fluorescnet lamps (eg. 5W). Our LED lamps have been independently assessed at 53 lumens/watt - a large fluoro can reach 60-80 lm/W, but a small one is usually 40-50 lm/W.

      To have a minimum of 500-1000 lumens, this would mean a minimum size of a 9W flouro. However, we can find 7W CFLs even in our own supermarkets - does he think these should be removed from shelves? He believes in lumpy, leapfrogging development, from 10-20 lumen kerosene lamps to 500-1000, and there is no place for anything in between. We do not agree at all - this lumpy idea of at least 7W of power per household ignores the beauty of LEDs - that they offer a new low entry point to lighting, and over time, if kero money is invested in households energy assets instead of burned, those assets will grow and expand, 1W at a time.

      We are using a modified design from China that sells in the volume of 5-10 million per year. It's a great light, and anyone who says that the first watt of lighting is of no use a) doesn't go camping and b) hasn't lived in a village. The first watt of light is as important at the next 7W - it is the difference between reading, or not. Or charging a mobile phone, or not.

      I would strongly suggest that using a micro hydro to charge batteries from AC products like those attached would have great application in Bolivia, and I'd be happy to work with you to bring commercial solutions to your market (hydro, solar, grid-based battery charging, whatever gets rid of kerosene lamps). Our focus, like yours, is on the possible and adequate, and we are selling these solar desklamps for cash in Africa (don't even need a loan!) at US$15-20 each, less than 6 months payback compared to kerosene lighting. In Papua New Guinea, they have great hydro potential too, so I'd be interested in your low cost hydros, but I will be honest when I believe that the real solution is to tap your know-how (like mine) and couple it with mass production capability from China (and later, local assembly / manufacture in smaller countries). If you can make a 1-20W pico hydro from plastic/metal that is less than US$4/watt like solar is, then 24 hour power would
      have a great place for battery charging in the wet, rainy, not-very-solar hills of PNG and similar countries.

      The micro hydro group have a) failed to think of scaling up their solutions to serve millions instead of thousands, and b) failed to couple their turbines with a whole package - lights, wires, design, project management, finance - the whole package. We're happy to work with anyone in the group who can think at scale and support such models - the talent in the group is great, but they're not delivering to their full potential.

      Cheers,
      Stewart



      --- On Sat, 1/31/09, Manfred Mornhinweg <mmornhin@...> wrote:

      > From: Manfred Mornhinweg <mmornhin@...>
      > Subject: [microhydro] Re: New Generation L.E.Ds and Micro Hydro milling
      > To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 5:44 PM
      > Hi Ron, and all,
      >
      > >
      > http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090129090218.htm
      >
      > As one can read in this article, the GaN LEDs described
      > there still need
      > the fluorescent converter coating to produce white light.
      > And it is this
      > coating that wears out very quickly, making the once white
      > LEDs turn
      > bluish and much weaker after a short time of use, often as
      > little as 100
      > hours.
      >
      > > There seems little question l.e.d.s with be the light
      > of choice in
      > > many future lighting systems, especially where only
      > limited amounts
      > > of electricity are available.
      >
      > That depends on how good they really get, and whether no
      > other, better
      > type of lamp is developed. I really don't know if they
      > will win a place
      > in general illumination, or only in niche applications.
      >
      > > The low electicity demand of L.E.Ds
      >
      > This is a widespread misunderstanding! LEDs do NOT need
      > less electricty
      > than, for example, fluorescent tubes, for the same amount
      > of light
      > output. Actually, most LEDs need more electricity! Only the
      > best LEDs
      > are about as good as an average fluorescent tube, in terms
      > of
      > efficiency. And these LEDs are expensive, easily 30 times
      > as expensive
      > as an equivalent fluorescent tube!
      >
      > > These were the first generation bright bluish white
      > L.E.D.s from
      > > Lumiled. Unfortunatly these only lasted a short time
      > before burning
      > > out,
      >
      > That shows they were bad quality. LEDs really shouldn't
      > burn out
      > quickly. Instead they become dimmer and more bluish as they
      > age.
      >
      > > and the curcuits were impossible to repair.
      >
      > Were they encapsulated in resin, or why couldn't they
      > be repaired?
      >
      > > Now, my question: Have any of the other members of
      > this group working
      > > in "developing" countries had more recent
      > and (hopefully) more
      > > successful experiences with the introduction of L.E.D.
      > lighting for
      > > rural home lighting?
      >
      > I have heard of several initiatives, but they were all
      > based on untrue
      > propositions. For example, often the people doing it would
      > argue that in
      > rural places it's not necessary nor expected to have
      > good, intense
      > light, and so a single LED would be sufficient. I don't
      > accept that
      > reasoning! I think people in rural areas have every bit as
      > much right to
      > good illumination as people in cities. That means, a lamp
      > that lights a
      > room should produce at least 1000 lumens, and a small
      > reading lamp that
      > will be used close up should have about 500 lumens. With
      > fluorescent
      > lamps of any sort (extended or compact, powered by AC or
      > DC) this is
      > easy and inexpensive to obtain, but with LEDs it's
      > expensive. And the
      > LEDs will use between the same and three times as much
      > electricity as
      > the fluorescents, for that light output.
      >
      > I see present day LEDs as suitable for specific niches:
      >
      > - When the lamp needs to be mechanically very robust, so
      > that it can be
      > dropped on a concrete floor and still expected to work;
      > - For very low power lights (under one watt), mostly useful
      > as signal
      > lights, not for general illumination.
      >
      > For everything else, fluorescent lamps are better at this
      > time. What the
      > future will bring, I don't know.
      >
      > > We are ready to try again.
      >
      > Better use fluorescents!
      >
      > Manfred.
      >
      > ========================
      > Visit my hobby homepage!
      > http://ludens.cl
      > ========================
    • Manfred Mornhinweg
      Hi Ron, For several days I wondered whether there was any use in replying, because I fear stirring up an ants nest, and also the whole matter is a little bit
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 5, 2009
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        Hi Ron,

        For several days I wondered whether there was any use in replying,
        because I fear stirring up an ants nest, and also the whole matter is a
        little bit off topic, but now it's raining and I have some time, so I'll
        do it anyway. I hope it won't be taken the wrong way by anyone.

        First, I'm a bit confused. You sent this message from a mail address of
        "Otto Rike". Are you using another person's mail, or is that a
        pseudonym? Also, the main contents of that mail, addressed to "Otto", is
        a forward of what Stewart wrote, whom I think I have never heard of
        before. Is he a microhydro member? If not, can you forward my reply to
        him, or give me his e-mail address?

        > I have a lot more to add to what Stewart says here, but not this
        > moment. He was working together with LUTW in 2001. Ron

        I will reply to some of the things Stewart said, while you decide
        whether to add what you have to say!

        > This Manfred guy is partially right, and mostly wrong.

        Good to know...! And "this Manfred guy" doesn't sound really bad, does
        it? ;-)

        > LEDs indeed are not as efficient as large fluorescent lamps, but are
        > as efficient as small fluorescnet lamps (eg. 5W).

        I doubt the LED lamps reach even that standard. Maybe specialized high
        cost LEDs reach it, but the LEDs I can buy at a reasonable cost, do not.

        > Our LED lamps have been independently assessed at 53 lumens/watt - a
        > large fluoro can reach 60-80 lm/W, but a small one is usually 40-50
        > lm/W.

        Those LED lamps would be truly exceptional. It would be interesting to
        know where they can be bought, at what price, what power, and how long
        they last until degrading to half the light output. If price, power and
        lifetime can compete with CFLs, then indeed they would be a good (more
        rugged and perhaps more environmentally friendly) alternative to CFLs.
        It would require a price of about 0.2 to 0.5 dollars per watt, power of
        perhaps 1 to 30 watts, and a half life of at least 5000 hours, at
        nominal power.

        But I have never seen such LED lamps. The ones I have seen, tested, and
        used, start at about 20 lumen per watt, and degrade to half of that in
        less than one hundred hours. And their cost is something like 8 dollars
        per watt.

        > To have a minimum of 500-1000 lumens, this would mean a minimum size
        > of a 9W flouro.

        Actually, I tend to use 11 to 13W CFLs for reading lamps and other lamps
        used at close distance, and the 27W twisted ones for general room lighting.

        > However, we can find 7W CFLs even in our own supermarkets - does he
        > think these should be removed from shelves?

        No, I don't think that. There can always be special applications in
        which such low powered lights are useful. Specially when I'm on a very
        tight power budget, I would use them. But if at all possible, I would
        use higher powered ones.

        > He believes in lumpy, leapfrogging development, from 10-20 lumen
        > kerosene lamps to 500-1000,

        Yes, that's true! If I get to know of someone who still use kerosene
        lamps, and I have the choice between providing him something that is
        SLIGHTLY better, or something that costs the same and is MUCH better, I
        would always choose the bigger leap and give him the better solution!

        Or does Stewart think that someone who is still using kerosene lamps has
        to go through the full history, through gas lights, carbon filament
        lamps, open arc lamps, osmium lamps, Nernst lamps, tungsten filament
        lamps, until finally being allowed into the modern world of
        fluorescents, metal halide and LEDs? I don't!

        > and there is no place for anything in between.

        When there is absolutely no way to provide enough power for good
        lighting, I agree with Stewart that "better", even if still poor
        lighting, is progress. But if it's possible to leap the full way to
        something "good", that's even better, and I would strive for that!

        > We do not agree at all - this lumpy idea of at least 7W of power per
        > household ignores the beauty of LEDs - that they offer a new low
        > entry point to lighting, and over time, if kero money is invested in
        > households energy assets instead of burned, those assets will grow
        > and expand, 1W at a time.
        >
        > We are using a modified design from China that sells in the volume
        > of 5-10 million per year. It's a great light,

        So, Stewart is either selling those LED lamps, or otherwise promoting
        them. No wonder he is biased in favor of them! I do NOT sell any lamps,
        so I can keep an open mind, and compare performance and price of those
        lamps that are really available. And in that comparison, LED lamps are
        rather niche devices, while fluorescents are the most useful type of
        lamps (best performance/cost ratio) for the power range most commonly
        needed in homes.

        > and anyone who says that the first watt of lighting is of no use a)
        > doesn't go camping and b) hasn't lived in a village. The first watt
        > of light is as important at the next 7W - it is the difference
        > between reading, or not. Or charging a mobile phone, or not.

        I know that very well. And Stewart also said the rest: The next 7W are
        as important as the first watt. I even agree with him on the rough
        figure! What I do not understand is why he seems to like staying at 1W.
        I would take the full leap to 7W, or actually to about 20W per lamp,
        when at all possible.

        And the interesting fact is that a 20W CFL probably costs no more than a
        1W LED lamp. The power source is another matter, but 20W from a
        microhydro system probably don't cost more than 1W from a solar system.
        Which gives us some more hints: In places where microhydro is viable,
        LEDs make pretty little sense, because a small, inexpensive microhydro
        system can power a large amount of CFLs. Instead in places where the
        only option is solar, low power LED lamps do make sense, for being
        better than nothing.

        > I would strongly suggest that using a micro hydro to charge batteries
        > from AC products like those attached would have great application in
        > Bolivia, and I'd be happy to work with you to bring commercial
        > solutions to your market

        So he IS in this business, which explains why he defends his products!
        That's fine, but readers should take what he says with the usual grain
        of salt.

        > The micro hydro group have a) failed to think of scaling up their
        > solutions to serve millions instead of thousands, and b) failed to
        > couple their turbines with a whole package - lights, wires, design,
        > project management, finance - the whole package.

        Most members of this group are interested in microhydro for their own
        use, and are not doing business with it. That's perfectly valid. Others
        do make business with it, and that's fine too. But the purpose of this
        group is what its name says, MICRO HYDRO. The "rest of the package",
        specially matters like finance and organization, is better treated in
        other alternative energy groups, I think, because it's not specific to
        micro hydro. It's only of lateral interest to most people here.

        Manfred.

        ========================
        Visit my hobby homepage!
        http://ludens.cl
        ========================
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