A British start-up has helped a Chinese solar power giant provide cheap, clean power across Africa with a $5 light.The SM100, which claims to be the cheapest solar light in the world, was designed by Manchester-based Inventid, formed by two graduates in 2012. Some 600m people in African countries without electricity rely on kerosene storm lamps, which are expensive to run and produce smoke that is linked to respiratory diseases, cataracts and house fires. The hand-sized SM100 can run for eight hours when fully charged and is twice as bright as kerosene. SolarAid, a charity, developed it in collaboration with Yingli, the solar panel manufacturer. SolarAid’s trading subsidiary SunnyMoney has sold 1.9m other solar lights in Africa over the past decade but they retail for up to twice the price of the new light. After trialling 9,000 of the lights in three countries, the new light is now on sale. The SM100 is an exemplar product for the new £83m Design Museum’s Design Ventura education programme. In March, the SM100 light won silver in the 2017 Design for So ciety and Design for Sustainability categories at the European Product Design Awards.
FT 22nd May 2017 read more »