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Pennsylvania Researchers Harness Solar Power to Help Developing Nations

Monday, December 27th 2010 5:35 PM
By GetSolar Staff.
Pennsylvania Researchers Harness Solar Power to Help Developing Nations When aid workers arrive in developing countries, they are often met with the daunting challenge of providing medical care in areas which lack key resources, especially in terms of infrastructure. Now, researchers are working to harness solar power technology so that doctors and nurses, among others, can work free from those constraints.

From 1990 to 2007, the amount of money that developed nations spent on needier ones rose from $5.6 billion to $21.8 billion. Now, researchers are looking for ways to help workers use solar power to keep vaccines cool, power medical devices and reduce reliance on a temperamental electrical infrastructure.

At Drexel University, scientists are hoping to beat one of the more common medical maladies that aid workers face every day: How to fight jaundice in newborn babies, a process that normally relies on electricity. Using solar power, Drexel's scientists are developing a portable light-emitting blanket that can be charged with a flexible solar panel system that will bath a baby in blue light, helping them to break down a toxic substance called bilirubin.

With the proliferation of solar power technologies, it is easier for scientists to harness research in the burgeoning solar power field and apply it to solve problems that afflict developing countries. With a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the scientists at Drexel are doing their part to ensure that happens. 

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