Hydroterra Lamp

School of Design | Interior Design •
Student | Xiangge Liu

The lamp can open and close, similar to a book. When the lamp is absorbing sunlight, it opens for the solar panel layer to absorb sunlight. Biomimicry examples include the transparent butterfly wing, artificial leaf, hornbeam leaf fold, and gecko hair. The materials chosen are all sustainable. The first layer is the butterfly wing for solar energy absorption as the tiny scales are layered to scatter and distribute light evenly and help with fast heat absorption. The material chosen is amorphous silicon as it is a thin-film material and is one of the photovoltaic materials that give the least ecological impact. The second layer is the artificial leaf which can absorb sunlight and energy from the water. The artificial leaf includes self-healing properties against bacteria growing on the surface, which is an advantage for our site as the water in Makoko is dirty which will need properties to protect itself from the filth while being able to be used on the water to gather energy. The material chosen is crystalline silicon as it is made with ocean-friendly plastic and is very durable. The third layer is the light bulb and sensor panel made of PMMA acrylic as it is durable (can last 10-20 years) and recyclable. The fourth layer is a transparent foldable cover using the hornbeam folds for its durability. When the lamp is folded, the cover will surround the lightbulb and diffuse light. The material chosen is vellum as it is naturally transparent and made with 100% pure cellulose fiber. Vellum is paper that has high durability and can be recycled. Eventually, one ton of recycled paper can save 1,678 pounds of waste, 17 trees, 17,000 gallons of water, and 5,000 pounds of CO2. The base will include gecko hair technology in order to stick on to a hard surface vertically and horizontally. The material chosen is Green Cell Foam (GCF) as it is a non-petroleum-based, anti-static foam made from cornstarch.

This project addresses the issues in Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria, a floating slum where the large population of people do not have access to electricity and on average receive only 10 hours of electricity a day. People in Makoko rely on boats as transportation and the Lack of lighting may cause safety problems for people and boat traffic. There are over 250,000 people and the population continues to grow, causing the demand for electricity to increase. Although people who could afford charged lamps or torchlights use them at night, most are low-income families who use outdated kerosene lamps which are dangerous as the lamps could cause fires at home and are harmful to human health as it releases black carbon to the environment. Makoko is suitable for solar-powered energy as there is a low level of precipitation, has calm winds, and is close to the solar angle at the equator. Therefore, we designed a lightweight, portable, solar-powered lamp using biomimicry examples and using sustainable materials to provide affordable and clean energy.