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Bergsten, Tomas, 2009. Evaluation of the Sunlabob Battery Lantern from the perspective of users in rural Lao PDR. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Energy and Technology

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Abstract

Access to electricity is fundamental in modern everyday life and throughout the developing
world; NGOs and development agencies are, in different ways, providing electricity to
remote areas in order to increase quality of life. Electric light can eliminate the need to use
polluting kerosene lamps and allow villagers to conduct income generating activities and
children to study during the dark hours after sunset.

The objective of this thesis was to evaluate the features of a battery lantern designed to
provide electric light to rural villagers at a cost competing with using the traditional
kerosene lamp. This is done through a business model where the lanterns are funded by an
NGO or public donor and the solar charging station is funded by the manufacturer and/or
private investors.

The evaluation was done through a field test where a village of 234 people in rural Lao
PDR used the lanterns for six weeks, after which the villagers were interviewed regarding
their usage patterns and thoughts of the lantern. The results were meant to help the
manufacturer to identify issues, concerning function as well as quality, with the lantern in
order to be able to better accommodate the wishes of the end user.

The results of the study show that, in general, the villagers were very happy about the
battery lantern but many of them still had suggestions on design improvements. The
technical evaluation of the lanterns show some significant problems with the discharge of
the batteries due to stand-by power of the discharge controller. These findings imply that an
addition should be made to the business model where the amount of days allowed for the
user to make use of the lantern should be limited.

Concerning design, it was suggested that the lamp should be placed on the top of the
lantern rather than the current placement on the front, in which the spread of light is
restricted. Having the lamp on the top of the lantern would expose it to force but the results
of the survey show that the villagers are very careful with the lanterns. The addition of such
a model would give the villagers a choice and in order to provide the right lantern to
different villages around the world, pilot studies should be conducted before providing any
village with the full intended amount of lanterns.

Main title:Evaluation of the Sunlabob Battery Lantern from the perspective of users in rural Lao PDR
Authors:Bergsten, Tomas
Supervisor:Disanayake, Nishan
Examiner:Bengt, Hillring
Series:Examensarbete (Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU)
Volume/Sequential designation:2009:07
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:TENSY Energy Systems Engineering (admitted before July 1, 2007) 270 HEC
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Keywords:Rural electricity, developing countries, photovoltaic's, renewable energy, portable lamp
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-8-489
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-8-489
Subjects:Technology
Renewable energy resources
Energy resources management
Language:English
Deposited On:05 May 2010 06:36
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:12

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