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Duron Unveils $130 Solar System

Some three billion people in India do not have access to reliable electricity. Of them, many bring in just hundreds of dollars per year. Given India’s excellent solar resources, the same goes for much of Asia; finding a way to provide affordable solar power to rural India has become a primary mission for solar innovators around the world. Barefoot Solar Engineers and the Light Up The World Foundation are just two manifestations of that mission. The list grows with Duron Energy’s new low-cost solar lighting system.

Duron Energy began in Pasadena but has since moved to India to promote their $130 lighting system that collects and stores solar energy. That system is equipped with a 5-watt solar panel, three individual LED lights, a cell phone charger connection and an AC grid charger. It takes a full day of sunlight to charge the built-in batteries. When fully charged, the Duron system provides three hours of bright lighting or 10 hours of dim lighting.

Already, Duron is selling about 2,000 units per month, a rate that they expect to pick up as the company scales up production. Most customers thus far are schools and small businesses that must have reliable electricity to function. Duron Energy was born out of Idealab, an incubator of tech companies in Pasadena led by famed solar pioneer Bill Gross. The rest of the Duron team were all CalTech classmates together. The group spent much time traveling through Africa and Asia to assess people’s needs. In early 2009, the company moved to India, where it develops and manufactures its $130 solar lighting system.

Image and Story Via Inhabitat

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