When this solution is developed, can it be used in the developed world?
There is clearly an opportunity to use this type of technology in the developed world. Remote communities and rural homes could find this approach much more cost-effective than flying in fuel or running long transmission lines. "Light the world" would sell solutions in the developed world to consumers who have money and use the money raised in this way to fulfill its core mission of delivering electricity to the poor people the world.
Can a low cost DC Micro Grid be deployed today without further development?
Unfortunately, you cannot build a low-cost DC micro grid today from off-the-shelf components. There are two reasons for this:
First, products are designed to work with the developed world's AC distribution systems. For example, PV solar panels come with inverters to convert the DC that they generate into AC. The LED lighting that you can buy at Home Depot or Lowe's includes converters to change the AC power that is distributed to your home into the DC that the LED lighting requires. A DC micro grid may require control, but no control system is available today.
Second, the products that you buy off the shelf are engineered to either US or European standards. US products are typically engineered to meet NEMA requirements. European consumers buy products that meet IEC standards. These standards are important for developed world consumers. They ensure product compatibility so consumers can buy products from multiple vendors. These standards are created by committees. Members of the committees have different agendas so each standard is a compromise among the committee members. "Light the World" will develop a solution which is optimized for low capital cost, safety and deployment ease. "Light the World" has no technical agenda, nor does it favor any particular suppliers technology. "Light the World" will select technologies and solutions that allow it to fulfill its mission
What will the cost be to bring electricity to the unlighted world ?
It is too early to forecast the exact cost of bringing power to a household, or a small village. To determine this "Light the World" must first execute its science/technology development plan. However a few things are certain. First, "Light the World’s" approach will require significantly smaller amounts of capital to start bringing light to the unlighted world than present alternatives. It can be deployed one house of the time and interconnected later. Second, "Light the World’s” solution will deploy faster. This means that "Light the World" will execute its mission faster than if traditional technologies were deployed.
Will “Light the World” only provide the equipment for the electrical DC Micro-grid?
“Light the World’s” first priority is to complete the scientific and technical work to bring electricity and lighting to the world’s population that does not have electric power. “Light the World’s” second priority is to use the electricity that is provided to improve the lives of the people beyond lighting. Beyond lighting, electricity plays a vital role in refrigeration, water pumping and purification, and HVAC. After the lighting solution is developed and being deployed, “Light the World’s” will pursue and provide additional electrical use solutions.
How will “Light the World” insure that its deployed electrical systems have a long life?
“Light the World” recognizes that technology deployed in the developing world often fails and is never repaired. "Light the World" considers it part of its core mission to ensure that the electrical systems it supplies provide electricity over the long run. At a minimum, this means that "Light the World" will work with local organizations to make sure that people in the community are trained to maintain and repair the systems. In essence, “Light the World” will train the local trainers.
"Light the World" does not anticipate being involved in the creation of new business models. However, it does recognize that the availability of electricity does provide an opportunity for economic development, and an opportunity to create local businesses that supply electricity and electrical services. When it is consistent with its mission, "Light the World" will work with other organizations who are focused on creating new business models using the electricity generated by the systems that “Light the World” supplies.