WaterLight: Portable light converts salt water into electricity

Colombian renewable energy startup E-Dina has developed a portable lantern that converts salt water into electricity .

Known as WaterLight, the device requires 500ml of saltwater – or urine in emergency situations – to emit up to 45 days of light.

The portable light was developed as a more reliable alternative to solar lamps in off-grid communities. It can also be used to charge a mobile phone or another small device via its integrated USB port.

Pipe Ruiz Pineda, executive creative director of Wunderman Thompson Colombia, said: “WaterLight can be more efficient than solar energy lanterns because it regenerates instantly.

“Once filled with water, the energy delivery is immediate while solar lanterns need to transform solar energy to alternative energy to charge batteries and they only work if there is sun.”

WaterLight works 24 hours a day through ionisation, which sees electrolytes in the saline liquid react with magnesium and copper plates on the interior of the lamp to produce electricity.

Throughout its life, one light can provide around 5,600 hours of energy, which equates to two to three years of use depending on how often it is needed.

After the salt particles have evaporated, the lamp can be emptied and refilled while the used water can be repurposed for washing or cleaning.

The first version of the WaterLight lamp was designed specifically for the Wayúu people, an indigenous tribe living on the northernmost tip of South America where Colombia meets Venezuela.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living

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