JUL 10, 2017 4:17 PM PDT

Environmental Innovation: the gravity-powered light


GravityLight is a social and environmental innovation that is giving people all over the world the opportunity to bring light into their homes without the need for electricity, batteries, solar power, or any other source of energy. It has the potential to provide off-grid communities with a light source that could change their lifestyles, and as its name might suggest, the light generates power using the force of gravity. But how does it work?

The system has three parts to it. First off, the light is hung 6 feet above the ground, which gives the weight the height to drop. In order to generate the power needed for the light, the weight is lifted and released, at which point it starts to slowly fall back down towards the ground. This movement powers a series of gears which rotate very slowly with high torque (force). As the company explains on its website, the gear train running through the product turns this input into a high speed, low torque output that drives a power generator at thousands of rotations per minute. This output is then able to power an LED light, and ancillary devices. In this way, GravityLight is able to generate 0.1W of power which can power not only lights but also other devices, such as a radio. To learn more, check out the video!
About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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