27 March 2016

Ion harvesting- Free electricity for all

High school Geography taught us about the different atmospheric layers surrounding the Earth. The mere existence of these layers is perhaps the reason behind various life forms to flourish on this planet. However, with global warming on a rise and the depleting natural resources, alternate sources of energy are the need of the hour. With wind turbines, hydraulic power plants, etc on the race to produce more and more energy with efficacy, a new way of generating energy has recently been introduced, however controversial the claims might be if this works out in our favor we will have a cleaner greener atmosphere with hopefully lesser pollution to worry about. Let’s unravel the mystery behind this technology that ‘Ion power group’ has come up with.

Nature’s plan

·        Cosmic rays penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with oxygen and nitrogen air molecules.
·        Electrons are knocked off of the air molecules due to these violent collisions, creating electrically charged ions in billions.
·        Ion production is also aided by cloud activity and radon gas that seeps from the ground

Man-Made aid

  • ·        Ion collectors are flexible, conductive and durable rod like structures made out of carbon/graphite/graphene, and not metal.
  • ·        These ion collectors aid ‘Corona Effect’ due to the presence of millions of microscopic conductive points on them which readily couple to the electric field of ions near-Earth. This coupling transfers the high-voltage electricity from the atmospheric ions to the ion collectors.
  • ·        This high voltage DC is either stored in storage mediums or in electrical loads to produce work.

The company to patent this technology is ‘Ion Power Group’. Although a lot of the claims made by the company are controversial and questioned by various experts, we can only hope to see a positive outcome towards a sustainable future with better renewable sources of energy.

26 January 2016

Gravity: lighting the way ahead

Over the last 2 decades we have seen a burgeoning demand for ‘alternative sources of energy’, to not only meet our proliferating demands for fuels, but also to save our resources from depleting and maintain the environmental balance. “What are these alternative sources?”, someone recently asked me, and I replied “Gravity!”. Let me explain how…

The concept

  • ·        Why? - Mainly developed for developing countries and aim at replacing the conventional kerosene lamp, to prevent depletion of resources as well as save the users from the harmful fumes emitted upon burning the kerosene.  
  • ·        What? - A device that aims at generating light energy from gravity.
  • ·        How? – When a heavy weight is lifted off the ground the potential and kinetic energies help generate electricity, as explained in the next section.
  • ·        Where? – They can be used anywhere, irrespective of environmental conditions. All that needs to be done is installation of the kit.


Prerequisites :
   1.     Adjustable weight
   2.     Gears
   3.     Electric generator
   4.     LED lamp(light emitting diode)
   5.     Rope/strap
 An adjustable weight of about 20 pounds (10 kgs), is attached to a rope/strap which is further  attached to gears. When the weight reaches the top, upon pulling the rope, it then descends  downwards at a very slow rate of about 1mm/sec. The rope is attached to the gears which in turn  drives the electric generator, that powers the LED.  Once the weight reaches the floor again, the  process is repeated.


Power Output (12.5kg Load)
High: 0.10W
Med: 0.075W
Low: 0.05W
Power (max): 124mW
Operating Temp: -30 ~80 °C
Storage Temp: -40 ~100 °C
Luminous Intensity: 13.8 cd*
Product Dims
Weight: 0.8kg
H:160mm, W:103mm, D:78mm
Load Weight
Minimum: 8.0kg
Maximum: 12.5kg


   1.     No specific environmental conditions needed to run it
   2.     Takes seconds to lift the weight which in turn powers the lamp for about 20 minutes and process  can then be repeated.
   3.     No additional costs except for the initial cost of buying the Gravity Light Kit.
   4.     No batteries needed, hence it can be stored indefinitely without the tension of degrading batteries!
   5.     Saves money, improved health and saved money and the three benefits post-installation of gravity  lights

We hope that this helps in improving lives of those who are in dire need of a change. To contribute towards this noble cause kindly visit gravitylight.org

10 January 2016

Li-Fi: Future of data transmission

Until recently, whenever people first heard the word ‘Li-Fi’ they thought it was a typo, and maybe the user actually meant Wi-Fi only. The concept of Li-Fi has recently gained popularity and it’s reasons are pretty obvious. For all the high speed-connectivity lovers, Li-fi came as a blessing. But don’t get excited just yet, lets shed some light on what this concept actually is.

Let’s start with basics..

  • ·        First occurrence: Term coined by professor Harald Hass from the University of Edinburgh, during TED talk in 2011.
  • ·        What?- Li-Fi aka Light fidelity, a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system running wireless communications travelling at very high speeds.
  • ·        How?- Enables data transfer using common household LEDs (light emitting diodes)
  • ·        Why?- boosts speeds up to 224Gb/s  (approximately 11000x times faster than the present speeds used in Wi-Fi)
  • ·        Where?- Can be used wherever visible light transmitters are present


The question that arises is what is so different about Li-Fi, when we already have Wi-Fi?
1.     Transmission: Li-Fi and Wi-Fi aren’t all that different when it comes to data transmission, they both use electromagnetic waves to do so. The difference being, Wi-fi uses radio waves and Li-Fi uses visible light.
2.     Device: contains
-a photo detector to receive light signals
-a signal processing element to convert the data into 'stream-able' content.
3.     Process: The constant current of electricity supplied to the LED lightbulb will be dipped and dimmed, up and down at extremely high speeds, without being visible to the human eye. These tiny changes during the rapid dimming of LED bulbs are then converted by the 'receiver' into an electrical signal. The signal is then converted back into a binary data stream that we would recognise as web, video and audio applications that run on internet enables devices.


  • ·        Speed! – As already mentioned 224Gb/s is way faster than the normal Wi-fi speed of 20Mb/s (approximately 11000x times)
  • ·        Security- Light cannot pass through walls, this ensure greater security on local networks.
  • ·        Interference – Since light cannot pass through walls, there will also be less interference between devices


  • ·        Connectivity- Since light cannot pass through walls, capable LEDs will have to be places all around the house, to fully exploit the benefits of Li-Fi.
  • ·        Keeping lights on- Li-Fi won’t work unless the light bulbs is switched on, that means keeping the light bulbs on, during the daytime too!

"All we need to do is fit a small microchip to every potential illumination device and this would then combine two basic functionalities: illumination and wireless data transmission," Haas said. "In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion Li-Fis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener and even brighter future."

Li-Fi verdict

  • ·        In November 2015, pureLiFi and French lighting company Lucibel collaborated, aiming to bring out Li-Fi enabled products in 2016.
  • ·        PureLiFi already has two products in the market:

o   Li-Flame Ceiling Unit- used to connect to an LED light fixture and,
o    Li-Flame Desktop Unit- connects to a device via USB,
both aiming to provide light and connectivity in one device. 

The amalgamation of Internet of Things devices and Li-Fi will bring about an incredible boost in opportunities for various retailers and businesses alike. Whether or not Li-Fi will live up to everyone’s expectations is yet to be decided.