2012 Galleries

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Galleries // 2012 Spark:Product // Goal Zero, Power Anywhere

Goal Zero, Power Anywhere

Winner - Bronze

Competition: Spark:Product
Designer: Mr. Michael Horito - Director
Design Type: Electronics
Website: http://www.rocketshipdesign.com

Background: “With nearly 1 billion people, Africa accounts for over a sixth of the world's population, but generates only 4% of global electricity. Three-quarters of that is used by South Africa, Egypt and the other countries along the north African littoral." – The Economist In Sub-Saharan Africa over 500 million people lack access to energy in the form of electricity. There are strong links between increased quality of life and access to energy. Even modest increases in electricity or lighting services results in much larger improvements in human development. Two of the greatest residential benefits of lighting are improved education and productivity, resulting in increased gender equality and opportunities for women and children. In addition, other socio-economic benefits include: -Increased time for families and quality of life -Improved health and safety by minimizing incidences of burn victims and respiratory ailments associated with smoke inhalation, especially for those most affected- women and children. -Moving Africa forward towards a more sustainable energy economy and energy future. Opportunity: Goal Zero products sold in developed nations substantially subsidize the cost of products sold in developing nations, a departure from hand-out based charitable ventures. This business model creates affordable product ownership, which in turns builds feelings of stewardship and product care.?? Portability: Focus groups and product testers over the course of almost two years resoundingly shared a common demand: portable power. When off the grid they required a power solution that they could easily carry or pack without weighing them down. Today our power packs are used to power essential electronic devices whether in Haiti on relief missions or trekking to the North Pole.?? More Power: A common challenge while off the grid is gaining access to more power. Whether needing more power storage to power higher wattage devices or to simply power electronics longer, Goal Zero introduced its proprietary modular designs that allow every Goal Zero product to chain and stack. A user that heads out for the day with basic handheld devices can lighten the load by packing a Sherpa 50 and only a couple ELITE panels. Heading out for a remote multi-day trek the user can pack a Sherpa 50 while a friend carries an additional Sherpa 50. Arriving at camp they chain the two to provide 100 watt hours of power storage. Sustainability: Goal Zero utilizes lithium iron phosphate batteries and solar technologies to provide renewable power. Lithium iron phosphate batteries are not only environmentally friendly but have a life cycle of 3,000 charges. With solar technologies we utilize the power of the sun to recharge Goal Zero power packs. ??Durability: Weatherproof, rubberized, and rounded angles allow Goal Zero products to absorb impact and take the abuse while being packed and used across extreme climate conditions. Beyond materials the Sherpa power packs have intelligence. Programmed with firmware Sherpa power packs protect the circuitry from voltage spikes, provide load balancing while charging chained power packs, and overall protect the health and longevity of its integrated batteries.?? A Better Way: From product packaging to battery technology we showcase an entire concept that utilizes recycled, recyclable and environmentally friendly materials. Packaging is printed utilizing soy-based inks, paper sourced from Sustainable Forests. Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are water based. Casing is made from recycled rubber and plastic. Goal Zero product that not only performs but contributes holistically to a better way of life. Products: The Tifie Light was design to appeal commercially in the US marketplace while being successful in (and helping to subsidize) its ultimate goal – to provide lighting to Sub-Saharan Africa. Long lasting LEDs provide high levels of lighting with low power consumption. They use only a fraction of the energy of incandescent bulbs, last 10-15 times longer and are nearly indestructible. The light design allows for the fixture to sit on a table to provide close lighting for individuals or provide broader lighting for group settings by shinning light upwards. The slots in the base allow the base to stand on any flat surface. The light may also be hung to provide area lighting. Sherpa power packs are lightweight, rugged power storage devices that are scalable to fit changing power needs. The portable batteries have an unique daisy chaining feature that allows them to chain up to four Sherpa battery packs together for increased power and battery life. The side rails are great for securing the battery to a backpack, tree branch or to each other. A built in LCD status monitor keeps track of power storage in 20% increments. An integrated charge controller protects internal battery and connected devices from burnout and electrical spikes.