Light for the Ultra-Poor

Votes: 1
Views: 902

In Bangladesh alone, around 40 million people today still live without any kind of access to energy. -
Of these, over 10 million live in extreme poverty. -

Children in particular suffer with the inability to study with decent light at night. When in Bangladesh I discovered that the problem is deeper and more complex than the data reveals, since the demand for energy overpowers what the country can provide through the national grid, causing frequently daily blackouts. This is especially dire for the rural communities there. -

One way to overcome access to basic energy is to provide a highly efficient off-grid system capable to generate light sustainably and efficiently. There are already many schemes in operation in Bangladesh, but none is efficient and many are exploitative even when under the auspices of microfinance. Their inefficiency is due primarily to the use of very old technologies (20W PV panels, DC LEDs and old lead acid batteries).

I propose a retrofit to replace old technologies, and new systems using smart circuitry to increase the efficiency of energy production and storage, and ensure permanent supply for rural off-grid communities and emergency blackouts. My estimation for the size of the market in Bangladesh alone is of at least 60 million units, and would like to develop and test a prototype based on my previous conceptual designs to further improve efficiency and enter production to supply a ready-made market.

The system consists of a PV panel (generally 20-30W, already existing when retrofitting), an energy controller board, modern LED lights and lithium-ion or graphene batteries. The aim is to ensure a self-sustaining harvesting cycle capable of keeping back-up storage for a minimum load of up to 3 x 6 hours day. -

The electronic controller is the heart of this solution as it maximizes energy harvesting and storage, whilst increasing consumption efficiency ideally up to 300% or more compared to existing systems. The controller will need to be designed and verified prior to submission for testing under extreme conditions and then offered for production.

If successful, the system will be assembled and distributed to rural groups in Bangladesh and subsequently to similar countries with a potential market of 1B+ units as of 2020. -



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  • Name:
    Claudio Ingrosso
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
    Business Owner/Manager
  • Claudio is inspired by:
    Real people and their lives.
  • Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: