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 CEESD partners GlobalResolve in ‘twig light’ dissemination in Ghana


24 – 27 May 2010

Twig light demonstration at DomeabraCEESD and GlobalResolve have started demonstration of twig light in two communities in Ghana – Dormeabra and Akawli in  Asante Akim and Yilo Krobo district respectively. The device, invented by Michael Pugliese of Arizona State University, consists of a thin thermoelectric generator sandwiched  between a heat source and a heat sink. The heat sink is connected to cold water while the heat source is connected to burning coal or charcoal. The temperature difference created by the heat source and the heat sink provides power that drives the generator. The device is able to generate 5 volts of electricity which is enough to power LEDs and enough to light a room. Several prototypes of the twig light have been demonstrated at Dormeabra and Akawli. Most participants said they would buy a twig light if it fell within the range Gh˘ 10 – 15. A few quoted Gh˘ 5 as an affordable price for the twig light.  Kingsford Agyekuma, a teacher at Dormeabra Junior High School, suggested the development of supports for the twig light. He also asked the designers to develop materials capable of conserving heat for longer periods.

 twig light demonstration in GhanaAt Akawli, a community forum was held to solicit comments and suggestions on ways of improving the design. Participants were also asked to suggest the maximum price they would consider affordable. Selected households were also given the device for use. CEESD members would be visiting beneficiary households every month to collect information on the performance of the twig lights as well as concerns raised by the households. CEESD and GlobalResolve believe the twig light technology could be a replacement to solar PV especially for small load applications in off-grid communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The twig light has no moving parts inside the generator, is relatively cheap, and most of the components can be fabricated and assembled locally in sub-Saharan Africa. The Twig Light can run on any available fuel – wood chips, twigs, charcoal, gel ethanol, among others. According to Mark Rogers, the Head of GlobalResolve, the major challenge is to produce a portable, affordable, and reliable design that can easily be mass produced/assembled locally in Africa.