Social Innovation Evaluation
First Name Last NameSocial Innovation Evaluation Plant Lamps It was a team of Peruvian scientists who came up with that genius invention that made use of the power of plants. With that, they were able to utilize the energy that was found in soil in order to create lamps that were sustainably powered for individuals who were found to be living in a self-sufficient manner. In 2015, there was a report conducted on the study of Swedish scientists who had spent a great deal of time fusing together, electrical circuits, as well as plants in order to make cyborgs that would then be able to be used as a source of powering up electrical devices. The team from Peru came up with this new technology, which tapped into photosynthesis in order to generate energy that would being electric power to lamps. The Problem that the Innovation was designed to address Compared to the rest of South America, Peru has been recognized for having some of the lowest electrification rates with more than six million people living in rural areas without any form of access to electricity. According to one RESET article, “It is mostly people in rural areas who are affected, with a huge 42 percent of people in rural areas of the Peruvian Amazon living without access to electricity” (Pettit, 2015). The same source also provided that the coverage is considered to be the lowest in the region of Ucayali. In that area, only 35.1 percent of the inhabitants are considered to be on the electricity grid (Pettit, 2015). This is where an innovative new solution is being tested in a tiny town called Nuevo Saposoa. This town is said to only be reachable by waters, and it is roughly five hours away from the nearest town in the region. Other Factors Contributing to the Innovation It was because of a flood that occurred in 2015, destroying the electricity cables, that ultimately forced villagers to use lamps that were powered by gas. If not, some 173the towns inhabitants would be left in the dark. Not only was this new source of light considered to be damaging to their eyesight, they were said to be polluting the atmosphere. In order to solve the problem, a team of students and professors from the Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia (UTEC) took on a project to develop lamps that were sustainably powered by photosynthesis. This was considered to be a great energy source, one that is not short in supply around the Peruvian jungle.Understanding Photosynthesis Energy In order to understand the technology, it helps to have a background on Photosynthesis and its use as an energy source. According to Science Daily, Photosynthesis is recognized as “The process by which plants convert solar energy into chemical energy. In the presence of visible light, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20) are transformed into glucose and O2 during a complex series of chemical reactions” (Science Daily, 2015). A 2010 report provided by the same source provided that a group of Scientists over in France were successful in transforming the chemical energy that was created by photosynthesis and making it into electrical energy. This was achieved by the development of a novel biofuel cell. From this, a brilliant strategy to successfully convert solar energy into electrical energy in a way that was environmentally-friendly and renewable, was established. The same researchers in the France study were able to prove that when a biofuel cell was inserted into a cactus leaf, it would be able to generate the power of 9 μW per cm2 (Science Daily, 2015). This yield was considered to be proportional to light intensity. It was also considered to have a stronger illumination which then accelerated the production of both glucose and oxygen. More fuel would then be available in order to successfully operate the cell. At that time, it was expected that in future this same system would become the basis for a completely new strategy for environmentally-friendly and renewable transformation from solar energy directly into renewable energy. With the results that came about from this project, the objective was to develop a biofuel cell that would then be used for medical applications. The cell would then be able to function autonomously under the skin. With this being done, it would draw chemical energy from the oxygen-glucose couple that would naturally be present in physiological fluids. According to Science Daily, “It could thus provide power for implanted medical devices such as, for example, autonomous subcutaneous sensors to measure glucose levels in diabetic patients” (2010). Fast forwarding a full decade later, and this technology is already making headway.
The plantalampara is said to is to be fueled by nutrients that plants release during their growth. These nutrients are found in the soil. Next, the system has a grid that is capable of catching electrons that are then released by organic matter once it is oxidized. They are then utilized to feed the bulb. This helped to establish a non-toxic system of energy production, one that is completely different to the use of gas/oil and charcoal therefore providing plenty of health benefits. Rainforest communities aren’t the only one with access to this innovative technology. One testing is complete, the appeal will be available throughout Peru and other nations as well.Artificial Photosynthesis the Next Best Thing The solar energy method seems promising, especially since solar cells are consider to be a greener way to harvest energy. Still there are some major limitations that has been hindering the technology from being able to replace the traditional energy sources that has been put in place. One of these limitations is that when the sun is not up, there is no electricity being created and stored away in those batteries. With that, only a limited amount of energy is able to be collected. When the night falls, the individual is left to survive on battery power, and they experience a great efficiency loss as a result. Additionally, solar cells are quite expensive. Not only that, but solar energy is not exactly as widespread as it has the potential to be.The Partners Involved in the Project and Gap Addressed Because the plant lamps were created by The UTEC University or Peru, it is from this source that the financial support came from to back the project, its research, and then implication. Ongoing studies and testing surrounding the project is also supported by the UTEC University of Peru. According one report, “If the production of plant lamps is to be successful, UTEC work will not only provide these tools to the forest communities” (White, 2015). Not only is it expected to provide a sustainable and low cost solution for brining light and electricity into these communities, it is expected to make a contribution to the global ecological development of these communities and similar ones. Life Savings DOT The traditional red dot the Indian women carry on their foreheads is known as the bindi, which is associated with many religious symbolisms. The red dot was meant to be a symbol of both beauty as well as intellect. It also held a close connection with meditation. It was a philanthropic group that is known as Grey For Good that teamed up with the Neevlvasant Medical Foundation and Research Center in India. This was done to assist with the transformation the bindi into a vessel in order to ensure that women who were nutrient-deficient to be able to have iodine. It was a very important invention since iodine is a mineral that is naturally found in the body. Not only that but it is a supplement that is essential for the proper mobilization of cells. According to Medical Daily, “Iodine gives us energy, maintains thyroid function, and monitors thyroid hormones” (Bushak, 2015). Food is considered to be a great source of iodine. One of the biggest sources of the supplement is iodized salt, certain types of seafood, and then dairy products. The Problem that the Innovation was Designed to Address In many parts of India, especially the rural areas, there are plenty of women who suffer from a lack of iodine. These women not only suffer from the deficiency of the supplement, but they also do not have the access that they need to the food sources that exist and that have these nutrients. In places where there is iodine-poor soil, iodine deficiency is found to be most prevalent. This poses as a major threat, since the long-term effects associated with having the deficiency includes both goiter as well as hypothyroidism. Other health problems include cretinism, which is a condition that results in the individual being either mentally or physically stunted. For pregnant women, the risk is even greater. Prior to the Life Saving Dot product being implemented, other programs have been implemented. Roughly 91 percent of the households within the country do have access to iodized salt, though not all of the population is aware that this is the option that is best for them. According to an NCBI report, “The key factors contributing to this remarkable progress of the IDD control programme in India are effective translation from research to policy, political commitment, involvement of the private sector in the production of iodized salt” (Pandav, et al., 2013).